Gil Yefman, TumTum, 2013
© Urubu Films/Louis Vuitton
…(Not solely the Lepers, bull all who corrupt man must cry out for all to hear, that they are unclean, so that they will be given wide berth “and shall cry, Unclean, unclean”, Leviticus.
The unclean informs that he is unclean. And Tumtum and Androgynous tears and rips and covers his upper lip as well, for he is in Doubt.) Leprousy Halacha 10 (Jewish Law), Mishna L’Torah, Rambam.
Etymologically, the source of the word ‘Tumtum’ is a combination of sealed and unclear, ambiguous, used to describe an androgynous with unclear genitalia – meaning genitalia that perform and especially look different from others’.
Thanks to Rambam’s Halachaic deliberations, especially regarding the laws of Kashrut, Tumtum has acquired the dubious phonetic connotation of Tum’aa or “the unclean”, until today, its modern Hebrew meaning has acquired a derogatory turn pertaining to stupidity – sealed and clogged pathways of accepted thinking and behavior.
This project aims to address also the viewpoints and weak points of the Tumtum and the androgynous and all other outcasts and condemned, and in keeping with the Heterotopic tradition of Foucault’s “Ship of Lepers”, it offers a piercing dialectic wherein the Tumtum within us all is, in both the public as well as the personal level, and despite the violent exclusion built into the western society, the most important agent for change and evolution since the dawn of the species.