The Camel Prophet is an installation of a praying mantis, 8 meters in length and made of iron, that was erected at the Midburn Festival 2016. The legs of the praying mantis are made of iron rods and the body and wings of iron mesh. Its eyes and other body parts are made of scrap-metal.
The Camel Prophet – the name of the creation comes from a combination of the names “The Horse Prophet” in Arabic and “The Camel Solomon” in Hebrew. (The literal translation of the Hebrew gamal shlomo is “Camel Solomon, its denotation is praying mantis.) The uniqueness and character of the insect, its strength and power of survival, are what inspired the installation. It is not surprising that the martial art Kung Fu is based on the anatomy of the praying mantis, a masterpiece of the nature that births creatures with unique qualities leaving us gaping in wonder and teaching us the importance of humility.
This is an insect arousing inspiration, of remarkable stability. One can also see, through it, the landscape and what is transpiring around it, from up close and from afar, due to the work in mesh. The lighting serves as an inseparable part of the installation at nighttime. In addition to experiencing the powerful visual of the sculpture, the audience becomes an active part of the installation. A mechanism has been installed next to its heart, and the audience is invited to operate it, and thus enable the spreading of its wings and movement.
The installation’s sound includes the swarm of grasshoppers and chirps of crickets. In addition, a dialogue is taking place with a nearby, earlier work, the sculpture The Heart of a Woman, through an audio clip that combines a heartbeat with electronic music.
(Photography: Ilanit Turgeman, Shai Davis and others)