Tel Aviv Kunst

Ido Gordon’s War Diaries

Ido Gordon is a Bezalel graduate, working in Tel Aviv. His latest solo exhibition HALLELUJAH was held at Gallery II Tel Aviv. Amidst the current Israeli-Gaza war, I sat down with Gordon for a candid conversation. His words offer a glimpse into the challenges and fears of a Jewish artist in these turbulent times.
Post it - Composition No. 2 - 2023 - Markers on paper.
Post it – Composition No. 1 & 2 – 2023, Markers on paper

Where did you spend the last weeks since the Israeli-Gaza Struggle started?
A week before the war my family and I moved into a new home — ground floor, front yard, the works! Unfortunately, what it doesn’t have is a safe room. For as long as it was just the two of us (me and my wife) and our dogs, whenever there was a war and missiles were fired, we felt okay with just lying close to the floor hiding behind the thickest wall we could find, and hope for the best. But now we have a daughter (my dearest dear; Emmanuelle) everything has changed. So, on that Black Sabbath, we packed three bags, two dogs, and our two-year-old and moved to my parents. Thus began a week of gut-wrenching news, morbid images, and all-around dread and hurt. With the constant effort of keeping up a front for our child; everything is okay.

What steps do you take to create a sense of security during these turbulent times?
A Lot of things come to mind. I’m thinking about buying a gun. I found the best place to hide in our new home in case of a shootout. I now have a planned escape route in case of a terrorist attack – go out the back door through the kitchen (grabbing a steak knife while I’m there), lock the door behind me, thrust my wife over the wire fence, and hand her our daughter and two dogs, and running to safety. I also practice the acceptance of death, but that’s not new. Organizing my studio also helps. Opening boxes and sorting piles of paintings, writing tools, and old hardware. So, I guess the answer is that I don’t, I can’t seem to create a sense of security.

Could you describe your creative process, including how your ideas evolve and how you determine when a project is complete?
I’m a thief, and you’re all fair game. At this point I don’t think there is any necessity in creating anything new in the world, we have plenty. We can stop making new chairs today and we’ll all have where to sit. The same goes for my art. There are enough stock images in the world to go around. I’m an avid recycler, collecting old books from the street, and screen grab Insta stories. Same old staple imagery: skulls, clocks, hearts, and flames, It’s the everyday life that changes the context. I work with what I can find around my house or studio, usually on the kitchen table. My daughters‘ crayons and markers make for an infinite art supply.

Rediciulous, , Ink and pencil on paper, A4
Rediciulous, , Ink and pencil on paper, A4

Could you share your upcoming move or plan?
As I said, we spent the first week of the war at my parents‘ house. Besides the long dreadful days, there were a lot of sleepless nights. So, I sat down with what I found at my mom’s home office – Post-It sticky notes, and various pens and pencils. What started as a late-night therapeutic activity, turned into a small series of smaller paintings; War Diaries (עזהזל) No images of war, nobody counts, or rifles, just an accumulation of grief, one long day at a time. Next month I’ll exhibit the series in a small gallery in Tel Aviv.

Piss, Ink and pencil on paper, A4
Piss, Ink and pencil on paper, A4

Two years ago, after the birth of Emmanuelle, I wrote this short story about a candle, called It’s one o’clock and all is well. As he burns through the night, waiting for dawn. To all the worried mothers and teary fathers. Here, there, and everywhere.

It’s one o’clock and all is well
Our table I will tend
I light the room
In yellow gloom
And soon we’ll meet again

It’s one o’clock and all is well
Our baby sound asleep
I light her face
And bright her safe
Our bookshelf’s where I keep

Where I keep is one o’clock
My hands are fading black
The darkness creeps
Through night time weeps
And dawn has yet to crack

It’s one o’clock and all is well
It’s morning where I tend
Your lovely face
My warm embrace
Can’t wait to hold your hand

Ido Gordon –

Lital Megidish, a dynamic and creative woman in her 30s, graduated from the College of New Media, Tel Aviv. In her work, she has two main fields of activity, as she is both a project manager as well a social media promoter for projects related to the local art scene.