Land. Milk. Honey: Animal Stories in Imagined Landscapes (The Israeli Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia)
Michael Gov Priductions & Park Books, 2021
The biblical metaphor of a “Land of Milk and Honey” has denoted for millennia a prophecy and promise for plenitude. This book, published in conjunction with the Israeli Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, examines the reciprocal relations between humans, animals, and the environment within the context of modern Palestine-Israel, and demonstrates how this promise has become an action-plan over the course of the twentieth century.
Land. Milk. Honey. investigates how colonialism, urbanization, and mechanized agriculture radically reshaped the environment and altered human-animal relationships. It shows how the celebrated metamorphosis of the region into a prosperous agricultural landscape was entangled with irreparable damage to the environment, as well as the disruption of human communities. And it highlights the predicaments that both the environment and its inhabitants are facing.
The fundamental changes the region has undergone are portrayed through the stories of five local animals: cow, goat, honeybee, water buffalo, and bat. These case-studies and analysis construct a spatial history of a place in five acts: Mechanization, Territory, Cohabitation, Extinction, and the Post-Human. A rich collection of literary excerpts, historical documents, archival photos, as well as short original vignettes reveals the story of this remarkable transfiguration and redesign.