I'm good at love, I'm good at hate, it's in between I freeze
160 pp., 5 x 7 in, 90 color illus., 30 b&w illus.
- Published: March 17, 2020
An artist charts the historical context and aftermath of a concert—by Leonard Cohen at the Ramallah Cultural Palace in Palestine—that never happened.
Michael Rakowitz's project I'm good at love, I'm good at hate, it's in between I freeze (2009–ongoing) charts the historical context and aftermath of a concert that never happened. In 2009 Leonard Cohen was scheduled to perform in Israel. Because of increasing pressure from pro-Palestinian voices to dissuade Cohen from performing in Israel, a twin event in Palestine was organized. Amid protests and claims that the latter concert was a token show of solidarity and a hollow attempt to appease demonstrators, the concert was boycotted and eventually canceled. But the story, as Rakowitz's work demonstrates, did not end there. Conjoining the cultural histories of Palestine and Israel with the ethical dilemmas faced by performers under the conditions of a boycott, this volume, the first in the Research/Practice series, brings to light the research that went into this multifaceted work and plots the future arc of its trajectory.
Leonard Cohen's songs had found their way in our lives, transcending all differences and divisions. Yet to be caught in the quagmire of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict leaves us with an unpleasant aftertaste. Michael Rakowitz's I'm good at love, I'm good at hate, it's in between I freeze takes us through a significant moment in this history, proposing an alternative ending to Cohen's take on the relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Jack Persekian, Director, Al Ma'mal Jerusalem