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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Taysir Batniji, Palestine c/o Venice Artist Spotlight

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

Taysir Batniji‘s (b.1966 in Gaza, Palestine) work concentrates on the traces of memory, disappearance and loss. In the early part of his career, he worked with a variety of mediums, including painting, imprints and objects. His return to Gaza in 2001 after finishing his studies in France marked a turning point: he felt impelled to start working in photography, to “come closer to reality”. Photography evolved into a daily ritual, and Batniji was soon creating a journal of his visits to his homeland.

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Jumana Manna, Voluntary Security Check

For the first time, there will be a security check at the entrance to the Opera in Oslo tomorrow, 30 August 2009. But it’s entirely voluntary – it’s an installation/performance by artist Jumana Manna. Everyone who complies becomes an unwitting participant in a performance of absurd security theater.

The Novel of Nonel and Vovel

Cover art, The Novel of Nonel and Vovel, credit:  Oreet Ashery and Larissa Sansour

Artists Oreet Ashery (a Israeli artist working in London) and Larissa Sansour (a Palestinian artist living in Copenhagen) collaborated to publish this new graphic novel, which promises:

“a bold mixture of art, politics, games, sci-fi, storytelling and other experiments – all rattling and shaking up the most prevalent ideas, stereotypes and misconceptions of the Middle East.”

“The Novel of Nonel and Vovel” tells the story of two super-power artists (the artists’ alter egos), 50 ninja woman, and a mission to save Palestine. Published earlier this year, the novel is available for purchase on the publisher’s website.

Caption: Cover art, The Novel of Nonel and Vovel, credit:  Oreet Ashery and Larissa Sansour

“Killing Time”, 2005 by Aissa Deebi

Artist Aissa Deebi recently wrote to us to introduce himself and his work, and we thought we’d share it with our readers. He sent the PDF of a catalog from a 2005 project commissioned by the Queens Museum of Art and Mizna, a forum for Arab-Americans. It was a photo essay about a coffee shop in Queens frequented by ex-pats from Arab nations.

Here is a short paragraph from the exhibition catalogue by Lana Salah Barkawl, Associate Editor of Minza:

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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 michael@artpalestine.org.

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, decolonizing.ps (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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