Skyline, 2020, Avner Sher - Eretz Israel Museum

Skyline, 2020, Avner Sher

Photo: Hadar Saifan


Outdoor installation: cork, steel frames; digital printing, engraving, burning, scratching, etching, wounding, CNC milling


Arch. Avner Sher, b. 1959


“For years, I’ve been interested in the relations between destruction and rebuilding, damaging and healing, extinction and preservation. The work is composed of sheets of natural cork and cork bark. The exterior bark of the cork oak is peeled from the trunk every nine years. The trees suffer a recurrent trauma, yet are also constantly rehabilitating themselves and growing. Trees have an incredible capacity for renewal. I see these qualities as related to the history of our region, which has experienced numerous wars and conquests. As an architect, I also attend in this work to the global trend of building monumental towers whose envelope is composed of reflective or transparent glass, in an attempt to create transparency and reflections. In these mashrabiya-like towers, I engage with the interest in glass towers that reflect the adjacent buildings, while revealing the interior of the offices.”

Avner Sher’s cork towers, erected at a strategic point at the heart of the museum in the vicinity of an ancient Philistine settlement (Tell Qasile) and overlooking the Tel Aviv skyline, function as a mute record of the site’s centuries-old history. A digital technology was applied to the flat cork sheets to cut out patterns reminiscent of Islamic latticework, which feature Stars of David, crosses and crescents. Their completion involved a radical act, as the work’s creator “injured” an imprint of the Tel Aviv map imprint with his own hands. In doing so, he formulated a transcultural visual language, while defining a symbolic topos.


Outdoor installation at the Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv