Jerusalem Nursing Home

There’s a story I never finish. Every year, I write a new draft, and somehow lose it. It’s about visiting my senile grandmother in a nursing home in east Jerusalem in April 1977. Not just any nursing home, but a converted  Jordanian army barracks, replete with falling plaster and broken pipes. The works.

At least half the patients are elderly Arab men in wheelchairs. Everyone is speaking a different language, including my Palestinian Jewish grandmother, who, for the first time ever, addresses me in fluent German, while her roommate, a giant Armenian woman, insists over and over again, in French, that she is Napoleon.

Imagine being transported thirty-one years back in time, in London, at an installation by two Chinese artists, at the new Saatchi Gallery on Kings Road. The photograph above says it. all.