Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And Finally..


THANK YOU
VERY MUCH

Artists at Al Ma'mal II - Issa Freij

Issa Freij has always been a part of Anadiel and Al Ma’mal’s story. He has filmed and photographed exhibitions, people and events prolifically and continues to do so. In this Jerusalem Show he videoed most of the performances and also interviewed some of the artists and community centres. His photograph and video archive is probably so huge by now that it would take several years to get an idea of what it contains. It is not just a record of events but a consistent and ongoing record of the people, the places and the culture.

One of his projects in Al Ma'mal is a sequence of images taken during the last 30 years which have been re-arranged to create a new timeline. Moving from left to right, the timeline is reversed, and yet still seems just as familiar and logical in its new arrangement.


His other work at Al Ma’mal also merges the past and the present but all within a single scene he captured at a demonstration in Jerusalem. This complex image has three layers:
One layer depicts or represents the marching populace, angry, frustrated, tired yet resilient. The second layer depicts Jerusalem’s iconic monument, the Dome of the Rock, printed on a stretched banner carried by the marching crowd, and right across it a screaming slogan in the colour of the Hizbullah flag imploring Arabs for help - quite painful don't you agree? The third layer is a number of smaller images adorning the bottom of the banner carried by the crowd and resembling medals of honour for "typical" calamities that have plagued and burdened our sorry history (Mohammad al Durra and other martyrs). All of this is portrayed against a very normal background of a cloudy day, an evergreen and a Marlboro sign, which is telling us in a way: c'est la vie and too bad you happen to be who you are, on the wrong side of the fence so to speak. And the picture with all its elements represents life, a mirror of our culture and people, and a tool of expression that rises above all prejudices, pedantry and parochialism. (Text from Jerusalem Show Catalogue)

  

It seems appropriate to end on this image because it was the original choice for this year's Jerusalem Show poster. Concerns about the risks of it being perceived as too provocative, eventually gave way to another poster design but not before an intense email exchange among the Al Ma'mal board. The final poster for the Jerusalem Show ingeniously referenced the original choice by using cut-up extracts of text from these email exchanges.

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.

Sublimity and Anonymity

As well as five of the Young Palestinian Artists covered earlier in this blog, Al Hoash also showed another video work by Taysir Batniji and photography by Martin Leiboda.

Taysir Batniji video Transit presents a silent slideshow of photographic images made clandestinely at border crossings between Egypt and Gaza in 2003-2004. The photographs of people waiting are alternated with black screens used as metaphors for emptiness, the passing of time, restricted mobility and discontinuity. The video addresses notions of borders, travel and displacement as well as the situation of being between two cultures and identities.


Martin Leiboda's artistic interest has taken him to Afghanistan, India, the UAE, Africa and Palestine, which he has visited several times. His photographic series are neither reportage nor conceptional documentary, but are often directed at situations that in themselves seem indecipherable.
They are visible to the naked eye and yet elude or resist a deeper meaning. I believe that my images, arranged next to each other, have an accumulative effect and thus reveal their own grammar necessary to be legible. The image of the coffee shop in Ramallah is one such word in a long sentence that conveys my experience of this city. (Text from Jerusalem Show Catalogue)

As well as exhibiting at Al Hoash, Martin Leiboda also contributed to Youmna Chlala and Jeanno Gaussi’s Home Sweet Home project. The photographs in their book of the undisturbed interior of the Jerusalem apartment in which their project was activated, were taken by Leiboda.

There were also two artists in the show this year that chose to remain anonymous rather than risk being associated with an exhibition in “Israel”. The work of one of these was a video called Direct Negotiations (2007), which was projected onto the wall opposite Anadiel Gallery. This ironic work showed a cat seemingly trapped behind glass scratching futilely against the surface, stopping to rest and then repeating the futile scratching again.


The other anonymous artist was showing at Al Ma’mal itself and was allegedly part of a collaborative curatorial intervention by curator and writer F. Zahir Mibineh who invited Anonymous to present a recent video work. The video is allegedly a four-hour long, low-resolution documentation of the artist masturbating to something only he can see on his laptop while also intermittently appearing to nasally ingest a white powder. This video piece was an instrument to examine issues related to obsession, emptiness, stamina, insatiability, unfulfilled desire and the overwhelmed gaze, with a critical text accompanying the piece that attempted to shed light on these themes.

However, the video never arrived, the artist never arrived, the curator never arrived. In its place were the text, transcripts, biographies and summaries with a blank projection onto the gallery wall and re-titled Staring at the Sea. The video had been confiscated and the anonymous artist (briefly) arrested and accused of trafficking in illicit material. Allegedly.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Michael Rakowitz - The Breakup

Chicago based artist Michael Rakowitz first came into contact with Jack Persekian at the 8th Sharjah Biennial in 2007 and was actually invited to participate in the 2009 Jerusalem Show but couldn't make it. This year, however, he brought a multifaceted and meticulously designed project called The Breakup.

Mindful of the exhibition’s goal to serve as a metaphor for approaching the many facets of a contested city divided by occupation and segregation, “The Breakup” considers the intricacies of The Beatles’ 1969 breakup as an example of a collaborative cultural phenomena that over time stops functioning and reaches a point where negotiation fails as a tactic and communication is halted. How does this happen? What can be learned?

The central part of the multi-event public project is a ten-part radio program that will air on Ramallah-based Radio Amwaj (92.3 FM). Here The Beatles’ breakup will be dissected from the more than 100 hours of tapes generated during the filming of "Let It Be" to gain insight into the moment when enlightenment gave way to collapse, and to understand the feelings of isolation and alienation sustained at the time by both Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The project will culminate with a recreation of The Beatles’ final rooftop concert—but on a roof in Jerusalem in 2010 instead of London in 1969, with some of the new and former members of local Arabic music ensemble, Sabreen. An LP and a CD of the concert will be released in Palestine; the list of songs, on the album cover, will function as poetry, a demand for something that does not function to be fixed, for a dream denied to finally be realized:

Two of Us
The Long and Winding Road
Don’t Let Me Down
Get Back
Let It Be


The ten radio broadcasts were recorded in Chicago. Michael Rakowitz provided the central narrative thread and interspersed this with excerpts from the Let it Be tapes, and often unusual Beatles archive performances.

The recreation of the Beatles final rooftop concert was performed on the roof of the Swedish Christian Study Centre near Jaffa Gate with six local musicians who are part of, or connected to, the band Sabreen or to the Sabreen Organisation which now runs community music education programmes. Special guest musician for this event was Uriel Barthélémi on drums but the array of classical eastern and modern western instruments resulted in a truly unique reinterpretation of the five Beatles songs listed above. Although following the basic form of each track, Sabreen introduced extended improvisational sections as well as dedicated solo sequences that allowed each instrument to be heard in its own right. These included oud, qanoon, flute and several tablas in addition to the lead and bass guitars.


It is hoped that a further stage of the project will be based on the internet phenomenon of the Beatles ‘Fantasy Last Album’ in which people from all over the world have made fantasy artwork for this imagined work that never appeared because of the break up. In one case in Japan this was extended beyond the album to include detailed and entirely plausible documentation of imagined correspondence with producers and others who could have been involved.

In the context of the whole project, the idea is that this element can be transposed, and then juxtaposed, with a similar imagining of ‘Palestine’ in terms of design for currency and other symbols of statehood. The entire project would then be assembled as an audio visual installation.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Uriel Barthélémi - Exhaustion Triptych


Three artists participating in the Jerusalem Show emerged from discussions on the concept of Exhaustion between Jack Persekian and Tarek Atoui who made three suggestions: Vlatka Horvat, Rigo 23 and Uriel Barthélémi.

Uriel Barthélémi is a composer, drummer and electro-acoustic musician who creates compelling physical and psychological dramas through the intense production of sound. Combining drums and electronics, composition and improvisation, his work captures the very essence of live performance.


The original proposition for the Jerusalem Show was that Barthélémi play in the street in Jerusalem for 6 hours continuously, but this was modified to take the form of three separate performances over several days. The first performance took place at the French Cultural Centre on October 4th and the second at Al Ma’mal on October 6th. The final part of the Triptych will be performed tonight (October 9th) on the roof of the PADICO building in the Old City.
Jack asked me and explained the Jerusalem Show and I said OK because making a performance like this sounded like something I would really like to do. I changed the proposition a little because six hours is a lot and I didn’t want to just make something that focused only on the physical aspects of exhaustion. I chose the form of a triptych. I took this form because it is something that is used in religious art so I wanted to hijack the form because of the association with religious aspects of Jerusalem.
I use a language that exists in normal music but it’s more extreme or more radical. However there is always a continuum. Technically I use basic Max/MSP software which allows me to programme my own applications so I can develop special effects for the drums. The sequence works as if you are flicking a remote control. However, the first part of the triptych was more like a concert because it was not completely random. I had pre-programmed Part I. In the second performance I wanted to gradually discard the tools so that I had less and less tools to express myself with. The third and final part of the triptych will really be complete improvisation. I will have no other forms to help. It will be free drumming for as long as I can play.



Youmna Chlala and Jeanno Gaussi

Youmna Chlala and Jeanno Gaussi
Via Khan el Zeit: Home Sweet Home – Jerusalem
Artist book, video & installation.(2010)

Home Sweet Home, Jerusalem is a publication, video & installation project that investigates the exhaustive qualities of continually moving between the real and the imagined. By activating a home-space, we interrogate the relationships of self/object/ space and respond to a ritual of location that is rooted in the belief that home remains both a search and a dream. (Text from Jerusalem Show Catalogue)


We were invited by ArteEast to the March Meeting in Sharjah in 2010 and we presented our project there. We had already done the project in Jordan so we had a very clear idea in mind. We wanted to find the next location and to find people who were interested in this project and would like to work with us. We met Jack and Jumana and they invited us to come to Jerusalem so we came here for a month from mid July – mid August 2010.

Home Sweet Home looks at the rituals associated with location: first imagining the location, then moving to / staying in that location, then leaving and finally re-imagining the location after you have left it. The project has several components that differ slightly from location to location but include video, installation and publication.


In Jordan the project consisted of a collaborative video, installation and magazine which we called The Beloved. We did interviews with old people in the village and asked them what their most beloved object was. Through these objects we were often able to quickly get to intimate memories and the life stories associated with these. In Jerusalem this format is slightly different. There are two videos, photographs and a publication.
During our visit here we stayed in an apartment in Jerusalem for a month so the whole project was created in and about this space. We compiled a complete inventory of objects in the apartment and photographed them juxtaposing certain objects with others in the publication. Some of the photographs are exhibited at Anadiel.



Their interaction with someone else’s home in Jerusalem had an added dimension which took their investigation and representation of the space to another level. The owner of the apartment lives in Ramallah but needs to keep up the appearance of living in Jerusalem otherwise it will be designated as empty and repossessed by the Israeli municipality. Therefore the representation of the space and every object in it is also the representation of an illusion that is fundamental if one is to retain the physical reality of that home in Jerusalem at all.



Always have a Plan B (II)
The Book (that wasn’t there) Launch

Youmna Chlala and Jeanno Gaussi like to work with local organizations in whatever location their project is being executed. So they used a printer in Ramallah to print the books. When they received the publication there were some serious problems with it so although the video and photography installation at Anadiel were fine, the book launch - without the book - had to be completely re-thought.


So instead of launching the book at the Educational Bookshop on Salahuddin Street, they described the project instead through objects representing each stage: a mirror for the first imagining, an embroidery frame for the moving and staying, a pair of shoes for the leaving and chewing gum, a taste that fades, for the re-imagining. They talked about their experience of the space and how each of them developed their own video projects, and also about the wider project and how the essence of a universal human experience is contained within it. They also noted that they had not actually seen each other’s video work until they saw it as exhibited for the Jerusalem Show at Anadiel:

The fact that each video piece happened without the other person present, meant that it wasn’t until the moment of the show opening that we saw actually each other’s work. This was great because we each had very different interpretations of the space so we then could have a conversation about each of our different pieces which in turn starts a whole other conversation.

RIGO 23 - Part III (Prisons and Sunflowers)


I met with the students in the International Art Academy over the course of several days. They kind of split into two groups: the ones who could get to Jerusalem and the ones who couldn’t. There were a group of about 6 students and I asked each one to make a contribution or bring a concept into the mural. I told them I was doing something like a tile design because of the factory and they were into that idea.

They were all kind of shy at first but when I said I was going to paint the wall one student, Azma, said ‘Don’t paint the wall!!!' She couldn’t understand why I was going to paint something so ugly. That helped to cement the notion that I should paint it because it can be invisible to visitors. So many tours come to Jerusalem to see the remnants of the holy but meanwhile they miss the incredibly unholy present.



Azma also said that she liked sunflowers. In Arabic the name of this flower means something like ‘slave of the sun’. So this started the whole idea of painting the wall not in terms of how it is a block to people moving but how it blocks out the sun which makes it anti-life in the most basic sense.

Maher said that there should be a symbol of Ramallah and suggested the lighthouse - a thing that is a beacon and shows the way. He also talked about a window so this contributed to the idea of the smaller section of the mural which shows the city of Jerusalem from the perspective of someone who cannot see it.


Two of the students, Razan and Hiba, came to Jerusalem. Hiba can travel and had been to San Francisco where I live now. When I asked her what she thought she said ‘It’s your project, you should stick to your concept. We are just students!’ This actually contributed to making me feel more comfortable making the decisions on my own.

Munzeh, who cannot leave Ramallah became very emotional about the situation. So I feel that this section of the mural that shows Jerusalem is for him. I asked him to do a design for the frame of the mural which he did. He drew it and cut it out of card and I carried it back to Jerusalem with me through the checkpoint.


Maher took me around Ramallah and he invited me to come to the place where he stays. He is from Hebron but lives in Ramallah during the week for school and only goes home on Fridays. He lives with his brothers and one of his brother’s sons. We spent all day in his small place above a shop. His younger brother had just come out of prison and Maher himself was in prison for four years during the first intifada. I stayed in the house until midnight. His brother cooked and we all shared a meal. This was really a very special night. While I was there people were coming in an out all day to visit. There were many different men and all of them had been in prison at some point.


Maher’s brother is an artist too. He made many drawings while he was in prison but when he left the Israeli guards confiscated them all and would not let him take them. So I commissioned him t o do me a drawing. He will send it to me and write something about his experiences and I will include it in my next project in the US in November. This is an exhibition of paintings by Native American Leonard Peltier who has been wrongfully imprisoned in the US since 1976. He is an artist and he sells his paintings to  finance his defence committee.

When I got the invitation to Jerusalem I was at the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota preparing for this show. As I read the description of Exhaustion from the Palestinian perspective it fitted like a glove. It seems right that this relationship should continue, and that I should include this work from a former Palestinian prisoner. So the project goes now back and forth to Ramallah and the United States.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Young Palestinian Artists (Part IV) - Swedish Christian Study Centre

Salama Safadi
Majdal Shams
Vanishing Point, Video (2010)

Last but certainly not least of the Young Palestinian Artists' project is Salama Safadi whose video Vanishing Point is being shown at the Swedish Christian Study Centre.

The video was taken surreptitiously on a mobile phone while moving through the turnstiles, checks and queues of Qalandia checkpoint. Given that tourists have sometimes been detained for taking photos of the checkpoints this was actually an extremely risky venture. As a consequence the video is imbued with the tension of potential discovery as well as the tension inherent in the oppressive architecture and experience of checkpoints.
Vanishing Point makes reference to a point where all lines meet and vanish into one point; the lines represent queues of people waiting to pass from Area A to Area B. This is the daily routine of Palestinians’ life, extraordinary though incomplete. Vanishing Point is a point where human and moral values disappear; it is a point where individual and collective privacy is violated by means of temporary domination over the place. (Text (abridged) from Jerusalem Show IV Catalogue)

Vlatka Horvat - Once Over

Vlatka Horvat
Once Over, 2010 (performance)
Partnered in Jerusalem by Razan Akermawi.

Vlatka Horvat was born in Croatia but is currently based in New York. For the Jerusalem Show she presented her performance piece Once Over. The first incarnation of Once Over was developed and performed with Noémie Solomon and different versions of the piece are currently being worked on with several other collaborators. In Jerusalem her partner in the performance was Razan Akermawi and it was performed at the Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family. The first performance was on Wednesday 6th and the second performance will be on Saturday 9th at 7.00.


Once Over features two performers sitting at opposite sides of a square table negotiating, as if playing a game of strategy, but using only their hands moving on top of the surface of the table. This amplified tabletop exchange is recorded by a camera suspended over the table and projected live on a large screen behind them. The viewers are thus simultaneously witnessing two planes of activity – the life-scale of two people locked in an intense and spontaneous interaction, and the micro negotiations taking place between their hands. The unfolding drama is accompanied by a complex amplified vocabulary of taps, swipes, thuds, scratches and bangs as the hands make contact with the surface of the table.


The human drama, juxtaposed with its disembodied representation on screen, allows the viewer to be both present in the life-scale of the performance or to escape into the pure audio visual choreography of the screen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Goal Dreams at Al Hoash

The film screening at Al Hoash curated by Lara Khalidi and participating artist, Yazan Khalili, was the 2006 documentary, Goal Dreams, directed and produced by Maya Sanbar and Jeffrey Saunders. The film tells the story of the Palestinian National football team as it prepared for its first round match against Uzbekistan in the 2006 World Cup.

The saying that truth is stranger than fiction is never truer than in a case like this. The Palestinian 'National' team consisted of players from Chile, Kuwait, Lebanon, the USA, Gaza and the West Bank. Despite the commitment of the Austrian coach Alfred Riedl, and the passion of businessman Tayseer Barakat in driving the project the enormity of the task ultimately defeats them. There are problems trying to unify a team who don't have a common language and where translations into and out of Arabic, English and Spanish are not always reliable. Trying to make cohesive styles of play among team members who have grown up in different continents is another difficulty. But the biggest difficulty of all is the fact that the whole team never actually manage to arrive. After three attempts to cross the unpredictable 3-stage border from Gaza into Egypt, only five of the Gazan team members are allowed through despite special permits. When they do finally arrive it is only a week or so before the match and after only a few days training  they hear that close friends in Gaza have been killed in Israeli attacks. 

As well as having to train abroad, when they do finally get to play their 'home' game it's in Qatar. There is zero possibility of playing it in Palestine because it doesn't exist even if the national team do. So they had to borrow a stadium from the Qataris instead.

It is a film that encapsulates the real and present complications of anything national and Palestinian. The diaspora and its talents is entrenched in other places and completely globally spread. As more and more time drags on in the absence of any agreement there is less and less to return to that can be unified to create a national future. The international political rhetoric also drags on unchanged for decades ensuring that the ultimate result is a permanently open goal for Israel.  
 
 
 
video

Young Palestinian Artists (Part III) - French Cultural Centre

The French Cultural Centre has  been a friend and partner of Al Ma''mal from the beginning. This started in 1992 when they were neighbours of Anadiel Gallery on Salahuddin Street. On Monday evening the Centre was host to Part I of Uriel Barthélémi's amazing performance Exhaustion Triptych. The second part of the Triptych was performed at Al Ma'mal last night and the third and final part will be on Saturday 9th at the Padico building. Moire about Uriel Barthélémi later but now is the time for Ice Cream!

 
Throughout this Jerusalem Show the French Cultural Centre are hosting Mohamed Fadel who is another of the Young Palestinian Artists. His series of ten paintings, collectively entitled Ice Cream, is displayed throughout the building and each of the large and colourful works take the name of an ice cream flavour. I can't remember which painting is which flavour so you will have to guess but I do know which one is the self portrait...
 

Mohamed Fadel
Kafr Yassif//Haifa
Ice Cream, Acrylic on Canvas, (2010)

We eat the ice cream before it melts just like dreams and joy. In a moment in time we hold the ice cream in order to find our momentary joy in life, and we find it beautiful though for a few minutes. It is an extraordinary recreation and we race against time before it melts. Ice cream melts fast. It rescues us from old age and hurls us back to the time of our childhood, play and entertainment. Ice cream is a good and enjoyable thing especially for children. Who among us does not like ice cream? Who among us does not seek to enjoy that moment? We remove the garment of daily life's concerns and hardships and search for transient delight. It is the childish and spontaneous disarray caused by the ice cream, and it is a challenge to the bitter experiences of daily life whose ingredients are the blockade, terror, hunger and intimidation. It is possible to include these under the rubric of the “ice cream” war. A child’s cry reverberates, “Stop the war; stop the destruction. Let us play and feel joy. Let us taste the other flavor of life.” (Text (from Jerusalem Show IV Catalogue)







 


RIGO 23 - Part II (The Primus)




Taxi Ride Ramallah

When I told the taxi driver I was from Portugal he got very excited and started telling me about his grandfather who had sold Primus Stoves from Portugal in Ramallah and always said that the best stoves came from Portugal. He then insisted on taking me on a diversion to the place his grandfather had worked and showed me all these stoves with Made in Portugal written in Arabic. He apologised for not taking me direct to the Art Academy but I said no problem. It had been really wonderful. I had learned something about my country that I never knew and I decided somehow to incorporate the stoves into the design of the mural. This taxi driver had started a whole process – a direction in itself.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Young Palestinian Artists (Part II) - African Community Centre

At  the African Community Centre the work of four from the Young Palestinian Artists project was exhibited. As in Al Hoash the work was very mixed in terms of medium and included painting, sculpture, installation and photography .

THE AFRICAN COMMUNITY CENTRE





Mohammad Hawajiri
Breij Camp, Gaza.
Between Us, Photography (2010)

This is an art project that sheds light on the paintings of martyrs which are on display in public places in Palestinian cities and refugee camps. Some of the places add a new value to the paintings posted on electric posts, roofs of houses and other high places. The paintings of different sizes have become a phenomenon in Palestinian society because it shows reverence to them and immortalizes their memory and glorifies their heroic acts. In this project I present new pictures and images of Palestinian martyrs who are still living among us but in a new creative and artistic way far from the idea of death and dissolution. (Text (abridged) from Jerusalem Show IV Catalogue)





 
Randa Madar
Majdal Shams, Golan Heights
No Sgn of Hope, sculpture (2010)

In this work I try to put forth my vision influenced by the contradictory interaction between my body and my psyche and my inability to comprehend the entirety of events that occur in a peculiar society that has its own  special political, social and economic circumstances. I did not wish to look for solutions or at motives and conditions that shape the current situation but rather I tried to present part of what lives in me while focusing on the points that seem to me to be of utmost significance. (Text (abridged) from Jerusalem Show IV Catalogue)  





Mouayad Amleh
Qiblan/Nablus
The Centre Cannot Hold, Installation (2010)

The Centre Cannot Hold is a portable bus stop with a seat and cover for shade. This is Mouayad Amleh’s solution for not having a bus stop he is allowed to use:

I usually stand on the main road connecting the cities of Nablus and Ramallah waiting for the bus that takes me to Ramallah. I stand near Zaatara Military Barrier south of Nablus and to my left Israeli settlers from a nearby settlement, and Israeli soldiers who have just finished their shift at the barrier, wait and hide themselves under a cemented bus stop. To my right are indigenous Palestinian civilians who have been asked by the soldiers at the barrier to stand far from the cement bus stop by at least 100 metres. (Text (abridged) from Jerusalem Show IV Catalogue)




Karim Abu Shaqra
Umm Al Fahem
2010 … 67… 48… Four Panel Painting, Acrylic on canvas (2010)

This huge painting spread over four panels was displayed across the entire rear wall of the African Community Centre.


The work reflects the suffering of the Palestinian people and the life they have been living since 1948. The painting incorporates the meanings of suffering: pain, hardship, misery, sadness and loss of dear ones and friends. I, a Palestinian artist, am living and experiencing the current life of the Palestinian people. In this work I portray the events that my people have lived through, reflecting on the symbols and colours that stand for the past and the suffering of my people. (Text (abridged) from Jerusalem Show IV Catalogue)