Our coming was expected on earth

8 February - 10 March 2018

As a result, the title of the project turns out to be a tragic monologue of a choir dying in history, and Sokol's painting turns into a poeticized seamy side of the new conditions of exclusion and oppression in a broad historical and socio-cultural field 

 

Vered Lavy, art theorist

The project Our comming was expected on earth is a total installation by the artist Haim Sokol, dedicated to the understanding of the concepts of earth and land.
 
In his project Haim Sokol yet again goes over Walter Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History and borrows his phrase without beginning or end for a project name. Sokol suggests that this citation should be taken literally, on earth meaning on land. This simple interpretation makes the work alarmingly up-to-the-minute, as if these words were said by the people at sea, or, rather, the ones in its waters. Put that way, us aren’t the contemporaries living here and now, on behalf of who Benjamin speaks. Sokol’s us are people sailing from one continent to another in search of a better life. Thus, he switches over the citation and, generally, all of Benjamin’s talk from historiosophic dimension to the geopolitical one.
 
Not without some self-irony, the artist paraphrases the classic definition by Rosalind E. Krauss and calls his work under the project "painting in the expanded field". He implies a variation of painting and installation, which is neither one nor another, still retaining features of them both. The water landscape of the first part of the installation changes to abstract terrains, as if watched from a distance and through haze. A sophisticated observer will easily recognize references to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, and, naturally, late Turner, and even Romanticism, while we’re on the subject of landscapes. Globally speaking, Sokol’s "painting" refers to the contemporary Western culture. It might be that only this component of the Western civilization brings the escapees some hope of redemption. Indeed, in the first place, people tend to flee from genocide, slavery, war, famine – everything that the Western civilization hasn’t just overcome, but has casted away at the value-conscious level. Of course, not many of the hundreds of thousands crossing the ocean have heard of Turner, but all of them have heard about freedom, respect for individuals, value of individual lives. This is where expectation of expectation hidden in the name of the project is revealed.