“Greenfield-Campoverde’s work, Rocks from Atlit, emerged as both a personal quest to investigate his grandfather’s odyssey as a World War II survivor from Auschwitz to Palestine (via Hungary, Italy and Cyprus) and as a metaphor for the condition of refugees today. Investiagting his grandfather’s past and history, Campoverde visited the Atlit Detainee Camp in Israel (a museum today), which from the late 1930s until the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, functioned as a detention camp under the British Mandate. Like the artist’s grandfather, Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi Germany and tried to enter Palestine illegally were detained here.
Campoverde collected rocks at a site nearby, taking a piece of the land with him, as though emodying his grandfather’s footsteps. Photographing the stones in a sealed plastic bag, he renders the work simultaneously performative and static, indicating the artist’s physical and spiritual connection to the earth and the place. Campoverde’s sculpture Greetings from Exile, is a cast of his grandfather’s foot made of concrete, attached to a folding ruler holding a postcard.
Examining his family’s continuous exiles, the material, firmness, and mass of the foot suggest an opposition to this narrative, granting the sculpture its momument-like impression. Observing the earth as a timeless element, Campoverde asks, What do we identify as our soil? Can soil ever by a marker of memory and place? Campoverde seeks for a connection with his heritage through the land, and at the same time, questions his ties to it”.