Ran Slavin | Israel

Ursulimum, 2011

18.30 minutes

Courtesy of the Artist and Givon Gallery, Tel Aviv

"Ursulimum" is the first record of Jerusalem in ancient Egyptian records dating from 1330 B.C.. Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. In the course of its long history, the city has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times. When new emperors conquered the city, they built streets on top of the existing ones. Layers and levels of undiscovered quarters still remain buried to this day.

This work takes us in a time machine to the future, 88 years from now. Under the old city of Jerusalem, an archaeological dig discovers a piece of futuristic history. A figure clad in an astronaut's uniform, possibly a modern day Seraph or a robot, discovers shrines and unknown architectural spaces and patterns buried under the city. The discovery reveals vast layers of huge underground interiors, built by unknown forces. The Third Temple, which has never been built, appears implicitly in the form of a particle accelerator.

The viewers join the archaeologist in his journey in time, discovering a kaleidoscopic architecture, domes and minarets that suggest archetypes of temples and future machines. Amongst the discoveries are materials that have undergone a self-employing process of system reproduction and data creation, mutated and endless interiors, and abandoned relics. Through a breach in the Well of Souls under The Temple Mount, we travel deep underground into the magnetic underground force fields and a foreign reality.

Based on a text written by the artist