Layered Histories tells the imaginary story of an actual 13th century
Spanish illuminated Hebrew Bible. Fleeing Spain with the 1492 Expulsion,
the Bible was known to be in Safed until the mid 16th century, but then
apparently disappeared until it was discovered around 1888 in the Bibliothèque
Municipale in Marseilles.
Histories represents an innovative approach to the use of new media
as a means to engage the viewer in a personal investigation of a non-linear
narrative based on the known and unknown wanderings of the Marseilles Bible, and reflecting on the experience
of culture as a phenomenon evolving from influences of place and cross-cultural
contact. Both the sources for the cascading moving imagery and the diffusion of sound were highly mediated by the artists, but in the installation they are triggered
and guided by a visitor's reading pointer movements around the surface of
what appears to be an illuminated manuscript. As
in a public reading, all visitors to the space share in the experience of
collectively viewing and listening.