Herzl meets Emperor Wilhelm II at the gates of Mikve Israel, 2012
In 1898, an historical meeting took place at Mikveh Israel between the German Emperor Wilhelm II and Benjamin Theodor Herzl, during the emperor's journey to Israel. The meeting's intention was to urge the Emperor to use his influence on the Turkish Sultan to give the desired charter for a Jewish state. The photographer, David Wolfson, who was asked to document this important meeting, was excited and accidentally left the Herzl outside the frame. To fix this mistake, he took another photo of Herzl separately, and by using photomontage technique created a new image of the encounter between the two, with a picture of Herzl "planted" into the original image. The processed image is the image released later as the commemoration of this festive occasion.
On May 2, 2012, Herzl's 152 birthday, the statue was unveiled at Mikveh Israel.
Mizrahi created the sculpture following the photomontage image. The figure was large scaled by 25% the actual size. The Emperor and the horse figures were splited , and Herzl's gaze is directed to the gap generated between the two halves separated.
On the first half of the splited horse written a famous statement of Hertzel: "If you wish for it, it is not a dream". On the other half written the words of the emperor: "There is a future to this country".
The sculpture is 7 meter high (including the concrete platform).
The artist talks about the statue:
I was confronting with a problem: the historic photo is a montage. I was asked to create figurative sculpture depicting the situation, but eventually I discussed the power of perspective or vision, rather the historical facts. Empire represented by horse and Caesar in front of a simple man who is just working to realize his vision.
On the left: The original picture taken by David Wolfson.
On the middle:The second picture of Hertzel alone.
On the right: The final photomontage as it was published on the newspapers and media showing the meeting.