It was great being back in Palestine last week though I just missed seeing AL MA’MAL’s 2011 annual Jerusalem show, “On/Off Language.” I did manage, however, to catch up with several of the artists included in it.
YAZAN KHALILI produced a 46x32cm book, entitled “Love and other Landscapes”; BISAN ABU EISHEH put together an installation of boxes containing household objects found in the rubble of destroyed Palestinian homes. His piece is entitled: “Playing House” and was shown recently at the Istanbul Biennale. NOOR ABED expresses what it is to be a woman in the Middle East in installations of high heels and cosmetics.
Visiting the ART ACADEMY in Ramallah, all of a sudden a blooming new city, I was struck by AYED ARAFAH’s work describing his nostalgia for the sea–a powerful attraction to Ramallah residents who, restricted in their ability to go there, must depend on their Jerusalem friends to carry back small teacupfuls of ocean that they can smell and feel.
OMAYA SALMA‘s performances confuse and disturb her viewers’ everyday perceptions. One of her works shows a single eye peeking out from within her niqab.
BASHAR ALHROUB searches for identity in his new work .
OSAMA NAZZAL’s iconic road signs forbidding tanks, guns, and settlers are posted on roads and buildings throughout Ramallah.
Jack Persekian’s gallery AL MA’MAL showed strong works by HAZEM HARB-a Palestinian artist from Gaza living in Italy.
ABED AL JUBEH, Director of SAKAKINI Culture Center in Ramallah showed me colorful architectural models –re-imaging the Palestinian Parliament by students from the Department of Architecture at Birzeit University,
I also learned about AL-Maqdese‒an organization made up of lawyers whose mission is to defend and protect Palestinians’ rights in Jerusalem. I need to go back and find out more.
POET/PHILOSOPHER NAJWAN DARWISH took me to a very special chicken place in BEIT JALA—before rushing off to Paris to hear his poems read in French.
RANA BISHARA’S “Road Map for Peace” and ALEXANDRA HANDAL’s “Vanishing Point I,” a psychogeopgraphic map of the old al-Musrara neighborhood conveyed sorrow, nostalgia, and hope.