Jul 13, 2009
Haaretz.com reports that the Guggenheim has acquired Sharif Waked‘s work ‘To Be Continued.’ Congratulations, Sharif!
You can see his work ‘Jericho First‘ in our exhibition The Thousand and One Nights at Postmasters Gallery in New York through August 8.
UPDATE: Also see the below article from al-AYYAM newspaper, Ramallah
Renowned Guggenheim Museum Purchases Latest Work of Palestinian Artist, Sharif Waked
“To Be Continued…,” Sharif Waked’s latest work (video, 41:33 minutes, featuring Saleh Bakri) which was produced by and premiered at the ninth Sharjah Biennial (United Arab Emirates) this March, now joins the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Guggenheim is one of the world’s best-known museums. It is a permanent home to a select collection ranging from the late nineteenth century until today and includes 7,000 works by nearly 300 artists.
“To Be Continued…” references the “living martyr” videos, which document a man or a woman announcing the will and determination to carry out a suicide operation among his or her enemies. In the video, a man (Saleh Bakri) sits reading what was supposed to be the text that testifies to his approaching obliteration but emerges instead as tales from “A Thousand and One Nights.” In these tales, Shahrazade narrates to King Shahrayar one story only to begin the next, thus saving herself and her kind.
The work explores temporality, narration, and death. The process of reading becomes interminable. Through this unending process of reading and narration, the “living martyr” eternally delays the seemingly inevitable occurrence of death and mortality. The “living martyr’s” existence in a permanently suspended state becomes a site to ponder the thin line between the political and the existential, the immediate and the interminable, the inevitable and the eternally deferred.
“To Be Continued…” joins a collection of Waked’s work that travels the international circuit of galleries and museums. Among the works that the Nazareth born artist is presently exhibiting are: “Jericho First” (2001), at the Postmaster’s Gallery in New York (until August 8); “Tughra” (2008), at the Queens Museum, New York (until Sep 27), and “Chic Point” (2005), at Visor Gallery, Spain (until Sep 19) and at the Paris-based Institut du Monde Arabe in conjunction with the launching of this year’s Jerusalem as Arab Cultural Capital (until Nov 22).