There is a There There

9 May

Sculpture titled There

There by Ram Katzir

This sculpture sits on a grassy island in the center of a traffic circle at the intersection of Hanassi, Yehoshua Bin Nun and Medinat HaYehudim streets. It was my first landmark in Herzliya Pituach. In the days after we’d first arrived, I began to explore the neighborhood on foot. I never left the house without a map in hand, yet I was still comforted when I saw the statue. Then I knew I was only a few blocks from home and could easily make my way back, even if I hadn’t brought my map along.

You can’t tell by this photo but the statue looks identical from the front and the back. If you approach from one side you expect to see a face on the other. But the statue is faceless.

My impression of the sculpture is probably not what the artist intended but, for me, the sculpture brings to mind the Golem of Prague, a mythical being made of clay and brought to life by a 16th-century rabbi to protect the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks. But unlike that mythical Golem who became a violent monster, this Golem appears to me to be benign and a bit whimsical. I fancy he is carrying a child on his shoulders.

The sculptor is Ram Katzir, born in Tel Aviv but living and working now in Amsterdam. His title for the sculpture is There and the sculpture in Herzliya is not the only There there is. Click here to see the original There in a much more scenic setting. And click here for other versions of the statue.

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One Response to “There is a There There”

  1. Alan May 11, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    I too thought of the Golem. Also Botero.

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