Black & White Bread, 2007/2012
Terrazzo tiles, 15x14x3 cm

The sculpture initially consisted of one of each light and dark stone floor tiles, cut to resemble slices of the standard white and dark bread. The piece draws a material connection between two standard products from different areas of life in Israel. On the one hand, white and black “uniform” bread is the standard, government-regulated food staple, and on the other hand the patterned “sesame” tiles, which were the standard in the hurried building phase of the state’s first decade. The two products are so widely used that they are rarely consciously seen, they both count as the “regular” to which any other sort is compared. They are both measuring devices in further senses: the bread’s pricing is a parameter for consumer price index, and the tiles, each 20x20 cm, are a standard tool for measuring a room’s square meter space. The slice is part of the loaf in the same way the tile is part of the apartment, and symbolizes the first step of ownership, settlement.

Furthermore, both standard products exist in “black” and “white”, carrying a variety of symbolisms relating back to racial differentiations in Israeli society then and now, food and living standards and gaps. For instance, the black tiles were used for public spaces while the white for domestic, internal spaces. The black and white bread are both made from white flour, there is no nutritional difference, but the coloring is maintained. The technical effort invested into cutting the tiles into slices forms a material, physical parallel between the two standards, and their social representations.

A later version of the sculpture (2012) included loaves (6 slices) of each type of bread, referring to the whole from which each slice is taken, and to the painstaking process of cutting these out of stone rather than tearing the bread.