Atomic Language/ The Rhetoric of the State’s Best Interest , 2011
12 units, pencil and crayon on notebook paper
In many countries, Israel among them, the code name for the license, the obligation, the need to distort, twist, and castrate language is "security." In the name of security and its relatives (secrets, censorship, protected, classified, intelligence-related), language has learned to dance. It has become impervious and opaque. Simona of Dimona ( a famous Hebrew pop-song about a woman in the town of Dimona) does not tell us what’s under the dome in her home town. It is an encoded dance featuring high-ranking officials and spokespersons whose well-rehearsed steps function at once as a smoke screen, a denial mechanism, a deterrent, and a sedative. It is an infantile language that says nothing, or rather, the exact opposite of what it means to say --exaggerating, lying, distorting, and reiterating the same alarming refrains: "Who knows what they have in store for us… we had better be prepared." It is a language of macabre poetics in which bombs are ’smart,’ nuclear reactors become ’textile plants,’ and bombers have such sexy names as "Stealth." This is the language sung to us by spokespersons, ministers, generals, and journalists. It is the atomic language we have memorized since childhood, the language of the state’s cynical rhetoric.