Mapping Jerusalem
Jerusalem, a geographical gateway between East and West, is home to the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity – the source of both its greatest gifts and its most intractable challenges.
What kind of city is this that, on the one hand, contains and focuses on such deep insights into the great mysteries, while on the other hand it causes so much suffering like hardly any other place in the world?…
Kessler approaches this question like an alchemist who uses material forms to explore inner truths. When she set herself the task of discovering the nature of Jerusalem, she first looked at a topographical map of the city from the 19th century.
Such maps address the interplay between human endeavour, landforms, weather patterns, and the ecology of flora and fauna. She follows the winding, tangled lines, measures the city with her eyes and hands and traces it as a living organism, formed from a centuries-old process of permanent metamorphosis. Following her impulse beyond the boundaries of the original map, Kessler expands her research into the third dimension
Some elements of the exhibition text “Susanne Kessler – Jerusalem” of Sarah Bliss, 2015, American University Museum