Art Palestine International is a New York-based cultural organization dedicated to Palestinian contemporary art. We collaborate with museums, galleries, and non-profits to produce art exhibitions, events, and publications.

This blog is a research tool that allows us to chart our research and invite others along on the journey.

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Tarjama/Translation at Queens Museum

The Queens Museum of Art is currently hosting the traveling exhibition “Tarjama/Translation” (May 10-September 27, 2009), curated by Leeza Ahmady and Iftikhar Dadi, with Reem Fadda, Assistant Curator. The show includes work by Khalil Rabah and Sharif Waked.

Here is a bit from the exhibition guide:

…in the speed of our encounter with globalization, we are flooded with what contemporary Chilean philosopher Dario Salas calls ‘dead information’ – dead because the average person cannot possibly process the quantity and velocity of stimuli he or she encounters every day.

To translate is to render significance: the meaning and importance of something at hand…

The Curatorial Statement is available for download on the ArteEast website.

Image caption: Sharif Waked, “Tugra”

Posted by Lauren Pearson

Larissa Sansour, Soup Over Bethlehem

It’s Friday night and I’m just about to go out to dinner with my friends. To warm up, I watched this video by Larissa Sansour. Called Soup Over Bethlehem, it’s a 9-minute piece about a group of friends having dinner in Bethlehem. They start out by talking about a Palestinian national dish, mloukhieh, and the conversation evolves into politics, mobility and occupation.

My favorite line of the video: ‘I’m so occupied these days.’ Response, ‘Aren’t we all.’

In the video they say that non-Arabs never like mloukieh because of the bitterness, but I checked out the recipe and it seems to be gluten free… always a plus for us celiacs.

Download artwork: Shuruq Harb, The Real Deal

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

Download The Real Deal (50MB).

The Real Deal was supported by Artschool Palestine and the French Cultural Center in Ramallah.

Palestinian Artists in Istanbul Biennial

It’s a big year for Palestinian artists on the biennial circuit. A couple weeks late, but I just noticed that there are a few familiar names on the roster for the Istanbul Biennial, opening September 12: Jumana Abboud, (Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Pettit and Eyal Weizman), and Wafa Hourani will all be taking part.

UPDATE: Not sure how I missed this, but Larissa Sansour is also on the list.

Open Call – International Artists Workshop in Birzeit

Al-mahatta Gallery is hosting an International Artists Workshop for two weeks this fall; it sounds like a great opportunity:

The workshop will take place in the town of Birzeit, about 12 kilometers away from the Ramallah City. The residencies and work spaces are set in an old building that is situated between olive trees and is close to the historical town of Birzeit. The workshop is process oriented, supports experimentation in all media and is targeted at emerging to mid career artists in all fields; encouraging contemporary work in painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, video, performance and sound.

Application instructions can be found at the Al-mahatta Gallery’s website. Deadline is August 10.

Images of 1001 Nights at Postmasters NYC

Installation View, Postmasters Gallery

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Guggenheim Acquires Work by Sharif Waked 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

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Exhibition: The Thousand and One Nights

Postmasters Gallery is pleased to announce “The Thousand and One Nights” – an exhibition of  contemporary artists from Palestine curated by Mary Evangelista with Michael Connor.
July 7 – August 8, 2009
Postmasters Gallery
Opening reception Tuesday, July 7 6-8pm


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Sandi Hilal + Alessandro Petti, Palestine c/o Venice Artist Spotlight

This is the third in a series of profiles of past projects by artists featured in the Palestine c/o Venice Pavilion. – ed.

Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti are perhaps best known for their installation at the 2003 Venice Biennale, “Stateless Nation.”  For this work, the collaborative duo installed a number of large-scale passports – taller than a human – throughout the Giardini, interspersed among the pavilions of different states. While passports were issued by different authorities, the bearer’s place of birth was always listed as Palestine. The project reflected the wider political context of the Biennale, in which participating nations each organize their own pavilion. Director Francesco Bonami had hoped to include a Palestinian Pavilion in the Biennale, but exhibition regulations prohibit the inclusion of nations not recognized by Rome, and his plans were scuppered amid controversy.

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Jawad al Malhi, Palestine c/o Venice Artist Spotlight

For the next several posts, we will be running profiles of past projects by artists featured in the Palestine c/o Venice Pavilion. – ed.

Jawad al Malhi’s contribution to the 2009 Palestine c/o Venice Pavilion is hard to miss: a panoramic photograph, House #197, printed at monumental scale (pictured above). The image depicts the Shufhat Refugee camp in Jerusalem as seen from the neighbouring Israeli settlement. The image seems flattened as if taken with a telephoto lens; focal length emphasizes the distance between observer and observed.

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