I’m no expert, Banksy, but what’s the point? Art satirising fascism, is that it?
A plush, retro hotel juxtaposed against The Wall (Hebrew: Geder HaBitakhon) which, as everyone knows, imposes a crushing force on the freedom of Palestinians. To all intents and purposes, it is a monument to the psychosis which pervades every part of Israel. Nevertheless, the wall is a barrier which callously dissects people’s homes and lives denying them even the most basic of human expectations.
Despite this or perhaps because of it, The WalledOff Hotel is art and as such means something. I think it means a great deal.
This particular hotel, conceived by this particular artist, being placed there, adorned in the way it has been, makes it not so much a celebration of Apartheid, nor a denunciation of it, but this bizarre construction is a jarring comment on how casually human tolerance can flip between the desire for gratification and preferential comforts to the paralysing horror of an unequivocal symbol of genocide standing just a few feet away.
This paradox is something we have grown accustomed to in recent years exemplified by the sight of G20 world leaders being treated so lavishly whilst assuring the rest of the world that poverty is very high on their agenda of topics to be discussed.
Words contain no calories or nutrients.
>Location: The WalledOff Hotel, 182 Caritas Street, Bethlehem, Palestine
>Website: The Walledoff Hotel
>Music: Regina Spektor – Bleeding Heart (Live on KEXP)