All drawings made during my BMKOES Herzliya Scholarship 2022.
I did many train rides from Herzliya to Jerusalem.
My friend, the Tel Aviv based painter Shai Yehezkelli asked me how I liked his
hometown. I answered that I loved it, because it had been so different from Tel Aviv.
More slow, less stress, the climate - warm but not humid, so you cope better with the heat. A city like no other.
He sent me a link:
‘Do you know about the Jerusalem Syndrome? It seems you might starting to develop one..’
Then I developed an interest about that syndrome.
People come to Jerusalem, overwhelmed by spirituality. Some start to develop a psychosis which leads them to believe to be the Messiah.
Recently a man dressed as Jesus, stole a donkey and tried to ride it to Nazareth. After 20 km the very old donkey died and the Palestinian police picked up the man and brought him back to Jerusalem where he got treatment. Like all the others who suffered this specific psychosis.
The cure to the Jerusalem Syndrome? Leaving Jerusalem. People calm down again after some weeks, like from a trip. Most of them don’t remember much, just that it was beautiful.
I love this phenomenon. It is artistically appealing. The old question or better ‘old school’ question if you were to be the chosen one, it reminded me a lot of the pathos, the tales of art careers. The messiah, a successful guy with followers, charismatic, talented, sublime… sounds like a star, maybe an art star…
Then there is a history about false messiahs in Judaism. Charismatic and talented personalities who were able to convince a great number of followers that they were the true Messiah. There’s been Sabbathai Zwi,
or Jacob Joseph Frank
Even The Simpsons have an Episode about the Jerusalem Syndrome, of course Homer himself becomes a Messiah in his own mind.
I did drawings, inspired by the Jerusalem Syndrome.
Ecstatic faces, climax, desperation, hope, laughter, high, low, mostly men in the weird moments of reflection or psychosis.