‘Abaddon.’ is a mix-media project incorporating photography, stone, concrete, fabric, light and sound. 

It consists of a number of individual pieces that are conceptually based on the conflicting yet related ideas of vitality and premature cessation. 

The individual pieces were exhibited together as a unified site-specific installation at the disused Aldwych Tube Station on the Strand, London’s West End in March 2003. 

‘Abaddon’ was part of a larger show called ‘Alight Here’ that was curated and produced by James Linden and Hannah Barry.


The word ‘Abaddon’ comes from the Hebrew אבדון, which means destruction. In the Book of Job 26:6, 28:22 of the Old Testament ‘Abaddon’ is another name for Sheol, the place of the dead. In the Book of Revelation 9:11 of the New Testament ‘Abaddon’ is ‘the angel of the bottomless pit’. The character reappears in Mikhaíl Bulgakov’s novel ‘The Master and Margarita’.

Abaddon’s presence in the consciousness of Londoners is the focal point of the project, which was created and shown at times of fear and concern for one’s own personal safety (in the aftermath of 9/11, shortly before the invasion to Iraq and when Londoners were facing constant warnings of an imminent threat of terror attacks) and political uncertainty (during the days of the ‘March of the Million’ and the drafting of the European Constitution).

Fieldworks at Tate Modern

In September 2003 Tsafrir delivered a paper at Tate Modern, London as part of an international symposium ‘Fieldworks: Dialogues Between Art and Anthropology’ discussing the principles and processes governing the creation of ‘Smoke Column (The Veiled Jew)’ – one of the pieces forming ‘Abaddon’. 

Download a copy of the paper (in PDF).


'Abaddon.' Comprises the following individual pieces: 

'Going Down' (sound) 

‘Self Portraits with Cut Tulips’ (two floted edge-torn Giclee prints in oak frames, 85×97.8cm each)

‘So Much Pleasure’ (Supergloss Cibachrome prints, 6mm glass face-mount, 79x55cm each)

The Convention of Europe’ (mounted Inkjet Print in oak frame, 85×97.8cm)

‘Smoke Column (the Veiled Jew)’ (sculpture; used Yorkshire slabs, concrete paving stones, linen, transparency in a light box, overall dimensions 64x188cm)

Using Format