Louvre, Paris
May 19 – August 15, 2011
99, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
+33 1 40 20 53 17

The Israeli artist Michal Rovner’s exhibition “Histoires” consists of three important site-specific creations that have a special resonance within the Louvre. Coming from her
lifelong experiences with sociopolitical conflict in the Middle East, “Histoires is a timeline of breaks” says the artist.

In the Cour Napoléon, Rovner and her team of Israeli and Palestinian stone masons built two monumental stone structures entitled Makom II and Makom IV (meaning “place” in Hebrew) from the stones of destroyed Israeli and Palestinian houses. Makom II, weighing approximately 40 tons, was constructed with stones collected from Jerusalem, Galilee, Hebron, and Bethlehem, among other cities. Despite the different sizes of the original stones Rovner decided not to cut them to the same size but found a way to fit them together. This complex puzzle resulted in a simple square structure pierced by a narrow vertical opening, allowing viewers a glimpse inside. Facing Makom II in the courtyard of the museum is Makom IV, weighing an estimated 70 tons, assembled with dark stones from the border of
Israel and Syria, has a violent diagonal fissure that nearly dissects the wall in half. Two giant frescos in motion will be projected on the stone walls of the palace’s original foundation in the Medieval Louvre, transforming the museum into an archeological site.

David Grossman, the distinguished Israeli author, summarizes the quintessence of Rovner’s work in his accompanying catalogue essay: “One can sense the life—memories that settled among them, the echoes of struggles that surrounded them—the clash of tribes, of nations, of religions and armies that fought one another over land or power or honor, over freedom, over home. More than anything, they evoke the fragile human individual, crushed between these forces.”