Letters From My Neighbor / 2021
Book design: Camilo Sandoval
Photos: Martin Pluddemann
Between the years 2013-2015, me and my partner Rotem Dar were living in Tel Aviv.
My upstairs neighbor was a Jewish-American woman in her fifties.
She was about 160 centimeters tall, and had short, curly blond hair.
She wore wide clothes, a visor cap and sun protection on her nose.
According to the landlord, she lost her mind after working as a scientist at Columbia University. Later, she immigrated to Israel.
Her name was Joyce.
Joyce sung and played the violin across the street from the Great Synagogue with a pitch that could almost overshadow the cantors’ prayers.
Her apartment was located right above mine with a little window facing my yard. Looking outside her window, Joyce noticed a Buddha sculpture placed there as a decoration. From that moment on, she seemed to be convinced that I was worshiping it, and therefore performing idolatry: one of the worst sins according to Judaism.
In order to present her thoughts and feelings, Joyce wrote letters and notes. Some contained text, while others featured drawings and numbers. I found them on my doorstep. She threw the letters out of her window, aiming to reach me. She hung them on the building’s walls and electrical wires. They were piling up. Note upon note, letter upon letter. For two years she threw them from her window, and I collected them.
In this book I present this collection.
Some of the texts in the letters are written in Hebrew. I took the liberty to suggest personal translations and interpretation to them.