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Laugh, Cry, Middle East 2023

A sculptural allegory for the State of Israel, “Laugh, Cry, Middle East” presents us with a figure who embodies the Jewish people of the middle East. We witness a figure bending over backwards, even as it is surrounded by its self-declared enemies. The serpent around the figures neck- representing ancient biblical enmities, slander and hatred- doubles as a noose, tightening around its neck as they hover between laughter and tears. The figure expresses laughter at the joy of finally securing a homeland after five thousand years, but also sheds tears over endless decades of tribulation and conflict. It is the laugh of someone in an irresolvable predicament, the laughter of a people faced with constant peril and no easy answers. As an embattled nation that is less than eighty years old, Israel, now facing its largest existential crisis since the Yom Kippur War, does not know whether to laugh or to cry. This statue is for the people of Israel, as well as all the people of the Middle East. It is a fervent prayer for peace.

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