The search of moral or spiritual significance
During his trip to India and by practicing meditation there, Rabia Salfiti started to reflect his personal identity conflict as a Palestinian growing up in the State of Israel in between the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in a spiritual way. In this context, he started to study the concept of pilgrimage as a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance, whereby many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places.
The existence and the concept of the State of Israel
The Holy Land, Salfitis place of birth, as a focal point for the pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Coming from that point of view, Salfiti wants to question the existence and the concept of the State of Israel. Might Israel be nothing more than a psychological metaphor instead of a real country?
The Holy Land was nothing more than an individual projection
In his performance “The Pilgrimage” Salfiti translates this intellectual game by setting forth on his own spiritual journey through the Holy Land with the aim to show that one is designing its own landscape and country by his individual experience of traveling. From an existentialist point of view Salfiti follows the idea, that in the end all is imagination and as well the Holy Land was nothing more than an individual projection. In his performance Salfiti is translating this intellectual game in two steps.
From the highest water source to the lowest
The project presents two shots by two cameras, projected as a diptych. During his round trip from Majdal Shams (the highest water source) to the dead sea (the lowest source of water). There were two Cameras installed in the front and the back of the car, plotting the route ahead and the route already traveled.
Future past and presence of the artist spiritual journey
All in all, the ride took 18 hours from the sunrise until the night showing the same route in different perspectives. To take the individual experience of the pilgrimage through the Holy Land to the audience in a second step Salfiti decided to extend the video material of the round trip to the amount of 75 hours according to the rhythm of walking.During the live performance the artist walked in the middle of a dark room on a treadmill over 150 km dressed in white as a pilgrimage. In the front and the back of the room the videos of the round trip were screened. All together the performance presents future, past and present of his individual spiritual journey through the Holy Land.
Rabia Salfiti, The Pilgramage.