Everything that happened, happened here first, in rehearsal. The invasion of Beirut, the first and second Intifada, the Gaza withdrawl, the battle of Falluja; almost everyone of IsraelÂ´s major millitary tactics in the Middle East over the past three decades was performed in advance here in Chicago, an artificial but realistic Arab town built by the Israeli defense force for urban combat training.
To create this alternative universe, Palestinian architecture has been carefully scrutinized. Roads and alleyways have been constructed to mimic the layout of towns like Nablus. Graffiti has been applied to walls in Arabic: “I love you Ruby” and “Red ash, hot as blood.”
(“Chicago” is a photo series by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. Or Adam and Oli, as we all know them, said in one same swift phrase without breaks: Adamandoli. They have been working together for many years now. We met while they where the Creative Directors of Colors Magazine. Adam is also part of the first generation of Fabrica. You can see more images of this series on their website, by clicking on their names.)
(And history, also, yes, in the rehearsals. In the planning out what we will do, in the sketches,Â the practice, and even the dreams: some kind of reality. An alternate reality, the sidewalks of reality, being constructed under the feet and the mind that thinks and imagines. Practicing. But reality nonetheless.)