In 2008, Ramallah-based artist Shuruq Harb (whose work Untitled, Goldfish is showing as part of The Thousand and One Nights) produced an artwork in the form of a fake fashion magazine. Called The Real Deal, it addressed ‘local issues relating to clothes and fashion in the West Bank.’ Satirical in tone, the magazine tells you how you can find ‘brand name clothes left over from Israel’s fashion season and smuggled’ into the West Bank by Palestinian workers. Harb adopts the persona of a fashion editor whose desire for the latest styles sends her on quixotic journeys and leads her to the bottom of enormous piles of subpar garments.
This editor character understands something that we Americans take for granted: consumer choice is the very foundation of individual identity. So what’s a girl to do in a place where consumer choice is so limited by restrictions on travel and exchange?
Shuruq has graciously agreed to let us offer her work for download. It’s about 50MB! But worth it. Let us know your thoughts and questions – you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download The Real Deal (50MB).
The Real Deal was supported by Artschool Palestine and the French Cultural Center in Ramallah.