Photos by Burrow, Berlin


artist book
in collaboration with Julia Wirsching
introduction: Tomke Braun
design: Burrow, Berlin
publisher: Edition Taube

“The expedition diary presented here brings together recollections, and charcoal drawings of the first expedition to the Fourth Pole. In contrast to Mount Everest, the highest point on earth and sometimes referred to as the Third Pole, the Fourth Pole is the lowest continental point. Situated in a terrain that, like no other, is marked by decades of political disputes between religions and states, its current form is of relatively recent origin and the result of the dwindling water level of the Dead Sea. The expedition shifts the biased perspective onto this terrain by declaring the region a Pole and, in so doing, it opens an imaginary space that is not so much defined by national coordinates as by topographical and autobiographical ones. “
–– excerpt of the introductory essay by Tomke Braun

Softcover, thread-stitching, 132 pages, 20 drawings, cover screen printing, edition of 500,
14.8 × 10.5 cm

the book can be ordered here:

In 2015 artist Julia Wirsching and I left our studio in Tel Aviv to go on an expedition to find the Fourth Pole. We heard that the deepest dry point on earth lies on the Dead Sea shore. Wondering why this is much less known than the fact that Mount Everest (Third Pole) is the highest point on earth, we thought that the lowest point deserves more visibility and attention. Therefore we designed and sewed a flag to name this region the Fourth Pole. We carried this flag all the way from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea and left it in the deepest sinkhole there.

The installation of the flag is depicted in a video (6 min, Password: tfp), and the book takes the form of an expedition diary. The text is written in four languages – Arabic, German, English, and Hebrew – which make their way from the front and back covers to the center of the book, where you find a visual dialog between the two expeditioners about a place that they don’t know.

The text is partly based on our personal experiences while walking through the political territories that were mostly unknown to us, and partly, on research about this specific area that we re-named as the Fourth Pole.

© Gabriel Hensche 2020