Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Artists and work at Al Ma'mal I

Al Ma'mal is the place it all began so it seems only right that the documentation of work in this year's Jerusalem Show should end at Al Ma'mal as well. Six artists are showing in the Al Ma'mal space. The story of one of these, Anonymous II, was told in the previous post. Four of the others are:

Khaled Jarrar
Khaled Jarrar is showing the sister work to his video at the Spafford Children’s Centre, I Soldier. This is a series of four acrylic panels painted in the spectrum of colours most strongly associated with the life of a soldier. In this painting series, also called I, Soldier, Jarrar takes the four colours usually mixed for camouflage uniforms and separates then into individual panels. This act conceptually links the paintings to the video, in which the soldiers were also recognisable as individuals through their quirks of choreography.

Jamal Jamaliev
A series of photographs by Jamal Jamaliev called Line of Fire (2010) are a strange and sometimes blurred document of observations from his research and experiences as a journalist. Born in 1952, he comprehensively researched the Crimean war which was the first war to be extensively documented in photographs. Over the past 10 years his research has focused on the war in Afghanistan and its repercussions on the Middle East.

Asad Azi
Asad Azi’s series of five works in Al Ma’mal called The Rider fit starkly with the theme for this Jerusalem Show. All are representations of a naked rider slumped over a donkey and each emits an atmosphere of complete exhaustive breakdown. The Rider seems no longer capable of any autonomous action. Asad Azi describes his figure as:

.. the awaited redeemer coming or returning to us, old, weary, burdened with our sins and our moans. Suddenly, he and we discover that he has been put in a dilemma that he cannot face. He is no more than a redeemer by accident, a redeemer by chance. He does not know who should be redeemed and who should be damned. He has been entirely confused by the constant change in the nature of people. More than anyone of us, the redeemer needs someone to redeem him.

Raeda Sadeh
Raeda Sadeh’s juxtaposition of a woman engaged in the perfectly normal act of knitting but with a hugely over sized ball of wool is surreal enough in itself. The fact that this activity is occurring while she sits amidst the rubble of her demolished house allows for several other levels of interpretation. This attempted act of normalcy amidst such chaos highlights the insanity the context and perhaps finally and inevitably that of the exhausted protagonist.

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