Dissolve is an environmentally sensitive sculpture that presents two books that have been physically carved and frozen into blocks of ice. The ice animates messages of social and political conditions, in this case the fight for sustenance—water, geography, cultures of power or violence both physical and psychological. Because Dissolve is subject to the weather, the anachronistic technology of the book is leveraged into the environment directly.
One book is Arab and Jew; Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land by David K. Shipler and the other is The High Walls of Jerusalem by Roland Sanders. The word ABRAHAM is carved into the books A-B-R on the left side and A-H-A-M, on the other. As the ice melts, the water is captured by two steel plinths that drain into one tank. The water is dispensed into bottles with labels that read dis/SOLUTION.
Abraham is the patriarch of Islam and Judaism (and Christianity). Carving ABR/AHAM into the two books that are frozen represents a combative discourse in which one side no longer hears the other—a form of censorship. Specifically between Arabs and Jews, as represented in this sculpture, the inability to dialogue prevents the communication between two nations. The separation of Arabs and Jews in Israel/Palestine, and the reuniting in light of recognition of common origin is one aspect of the installation. As the ice dissolves and the water is collected, the knowledge and contents of the authors’ insights are comingled, becoming an unexpurgated dialogue. Water, and metaphorically dialogue, is a precious resource for both peoples in an arid land, which might be sprinkled onto the terrain to nourish a solution for peace and prosperity.