Full title: "If I'm a Prince and You Are A Prince, Who Will Lead The Donkeys?"
Found object, presented at Rockefeller Archeological Museum, Jerusalem
Curators: Sally Haftel Naveh and Yanai Segal
Documentation: Michal Baror
"...Alona Rodeh incorporates an altered readymade sculpture into the space, featuring the Baths of Jericho’s Hisham’s Palace (Khirbat al-Mafjar). The sculpture belongs to the genre of decorative objects usually placed at the entrance to restaurants and characterised by grotesque and exaggerated features. By placing it along the main axis of the display hall and at the top of a series of pedestals arranged in ascending order, Rodeh shifts the hall’s center of gravity and creates a hierarchical system in which the well worn sculpture of the waiter becomes the ruler of this imaginary kingdom. This positioning raises questions concerning the relationship between the contemporary and the ancient and delineates several parallel as well as intersecting lines of comparison. There is a great similarity between the figure of the waiter and the surviving figures from the magnificent Umayyad palace that was destroyed in the earthquake but there are also many differences. It is interesting to note the role that figurative sculpture and elaborate ornamentation held in this ancient culture and realize how vestiges of this visual rhetoric are not only still with us, but are also in everyday use. This post-apocalyptic environment, where fragments of the figures that survived the inferno are scattered on the floor and high and low are intermixed so that the arched ceiling sits on the floor, acts like a backdrop to a play in which the seasoned waiter takes the place of the king and the latter can only stand on the sideline and watch him with unseeing eyes."