The Diameter of The Bomb:
A Sound Installation by
Ziv Yonatan and Lily Rattok


January 11 – March 13, 2015

Conceived specifically for the Middle East Center for the Arts at Mana, The Diameter of the Bomb combines art, poetry, sculpture, and dance in a multidisciplinary installation that explores themes of war and hope


Artists Ziv Yonatan and Lily Rattok created the project, which is anchored by a series of poems by the late Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, who based the featured compositions on his personal experience as a combat soldier. Yontan recorded American singer and activist Ronnie Gilbert reciting Amichai’s words, then edited and added music to the tracks. The result speaks to the endless cycles of pain that occur when a violent act is committed against innocent people. 

The sound installation is enhanced by two sculptures: Rattok created a site-specific form made of vertical metal poles that appears to hover in mid-air above the floor. The mysterious, rigid structure evokes a yearning for the sublime, a metaphor for the human fragility that calls upon a higher power to prevent a looming catastrophe. A second sculpture by artist Eugene Lemay sits at the center of the space. His low-ceilinged, windowless room is covered in dark gray paint and lit by unadorned lamps. Visitors are invited to enter the structure and immerse themselves in its shadowy interior to reflect on the works on view. 

Contemporary ballet company Armitage Gone! Dance responded to the installation with an original piece performed within the space. Choreographed by Karole Armitage, the dance attests to human plight contrasted with a reality dominated by violence. Dancers attempt to escape but fail, resulting in division and broken relationships. A video directed by Rattok presents excerpts of the emotionally charged performance. Together, the works in The Diameter of the Bomb create a kaleidoscope of a shattered world whose inhabitants attempt to find hope in the midst of terror. It functions as both a memorial for the victims of war and a bold site of protest.