Defense Wall, Gilo Neighborhood, Jerusalem
Shai Kremer
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School

This project is a seven year metaphoric portrayal of the military disfiguration of the Israeli landscape. To describe the complexity of this ever-changing and multi-layered terrain, I chose to keep a distance. The aesthetic, orderly and beautiful compositions parallel the defense mechanism that Israelis have developed in order to protect themselves from the painful reality of the current political situation. The wounds in the landscape correspond to the wounds in the Israeli collective consciousness. My goal is to reveal how every piece of land has become infected with loaded sediments of the ongoing conflict.

Instead of confronting the subject of the Israeli occupation in the way the world is absorbing it through the news, I approach it in a more subtle way. The media's aggressive representation of reality changes people's sensibilities and makes them callous to the suffering of others. One does not need to shock the audience in order to make an impact. I would rather challenge the viewer to think, using the landscape as a platform for discussion.

The accumulation of ruins and military remnants are an important part of what defines the Israeli landscape today. Observing this phenomenon makes me question the values of the society that is growing out of it. Four decades ago the historian and philosopher Yeshayahu Leibovich forewarned about the Israeli occupation being a cancerous disease in the heart of the nation, while renowned contemporary writer David Grossman brings it up again today. I believe that as long as this infected landscape is used as foundation stones for the future of Israel, the Zionist dream is sadly turning into a nightmare.


About the collection

Gerald Schwartz believes the presence of provocative art promotes creative thinking, remembering that "artistic presence was the only thing missing at HBS when I went there. I wanted to change that." In 1995, Gerry Schwartz and a team from HBS together began purchasing contemporary art for the HBS buildings most frequented by students. Inspired by the growing collection, a small group of MBA students founded the HBS Art Appreciation Society in 2001. It quickly grew into one of the largest student clubs on campus, sponsoring events in Boston area galleries and museums, as well as an annual weekend in Manhattan to meet artists, tour exhibitions, and attend theater. The club's co-presidents accompany Mr. Schwartz on his annual buying trip to purchase additional art for the School's collection.

About Gerald Schwartz, MBA '70

Gerald Schwartz, MBA ’70, is the Founder and CEO of Onex Corporation. He has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Gerry Schwartz is Vice Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of Mount Sinai Hospital, a director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, a trustee of The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Chairman of its Canadian Friends, and a governor of Junior Achievement of Metro Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba, a Masters in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and several Doctor of Laws (Hon.) degrees. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Heather Reisman, founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music.