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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From the Archives: Taysir Batniji, “Transit”, 2004

Time and its passage seems to be in the air lately so I recently re-visited a work by Taysir Batniji titled “Transit” from 2004. The work was originally shown at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam from November 7, 2004 – January 9, 2005.

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Landscrape: Representation Matrixes

Hanna Farah-Kufer Bir’im is showing work as part of the exhibition Landsc(R)ape: Representation Matrixes at Petach-Tikva Museum of Art. The exhibition, curated by Sigal Barkai, combines works from the collection with work by a range of contemporary artists of varied cultural backgrounds. It explores the tension between private and subjective experiences of landscape and official versions of what a landscape is or should be.

Barkai describes Farah’s work as follows:

Farah’s delicate etchings—some containing the word “home,” others alluding to excerpts of typical Palestinian landscape, flora and fauna—are bathed in nostalgia, solitude, and yearnings for a place that was lost before he ever came into this world.

This lost place, in Farah’s work, is the village of Kufer-Bir’im:

The story of the uprooted Arab residents of Ikrit and Bir’im has been the subject matter of scores of discussions in the Israeli government, supreme court, and parliament (Knesset). None, however, led to fulfillment of the promise given to the local inhabitants in October 1948, that they would be able to return to their villages if they agree to be evicted due to the war. The inhabitants of the village of Bir’im, to whose offspring Farah belongs, scattered in other villages in the Galilee, remaining Israeli citizens, but their yearning to return to their home never left them.

[Link]

Image credit: Untitled (2009), Hanna Farah-Kufer Bir’im.

Posted by Michael Connor.

The Subjective Atlas of Palestine

I found this book in the New Museum bookstore the other day. The Subjective Atlas of Palestine is not only a beautifully designed book, it offers a rare compilation of images by artists about Palestine. Dutch designer Annelys de Vet invited Palestinian graphic and fine artists to contribute to the book, hoping to offer a different image of the place:

Sublime landscapes, tranquil urban scenes, frolicking children; who would associate these images with Palestine? All too often the Western media show the country’s gloomy side, and Palestinians as aggressors. It is this that makes identifying with them virtually impossible. If we are to relate to the Palestinians other images are needed, images seen from a cultural and more human vantage point.

You can download a digital copy from de Vet’s website but I recommend trying to find the print version.

Posted by Lauren Pearson / Image Caption: “Beautiful Palestine” by Majdi Hadid

Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (2004)

After our recent request for more information about the film Route 181, a reader wrote in to point out that a version with Spanish subtitles is available online – part one is above (part 2 is here, part 3 is here). We did our best with limited Spanish to cobble together a summary of the project.

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Required Reading: Edward W. Said’s “Orientalism”

In 1978, Edward W. Said (1935-2003) published his now seminal work, Orientalism, a historical study on the discourse surrounding Western Orientalist thought. Said, a controversial figure in both Literary Studies and Middle Eastern politics, was influential in the development of postcolonial studies and his Orientalism laid the groundwork for this new school of thought.

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Alexia & Anisa Ashkar, “Blink of an Eye”

Blink of an Eye
Alexia & Anisa Ashkar
Documentation of performance, 2007

Just found this video on YouTube of a performance by artist Anisa Ashkar (Acre, 1979) interpreting the myth of Perseus and Medusa. I like the turntable that they’re standing on…

Frieze Magazine: Spotlight on Tel Aviv

In this month’s issue of Frieze Magazine, their “City Report” section dishes on Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city, known to most as the ‘the bubble.’ Nuit Banai, a Professor at Tufts University, and Eyal Danon and Galit Eilat from the Israeli Center for Digital Art, offer their views on a city well-known for its “air of detachment from the ongoing political turmoil, its hedonism, cosmopolitanism and its vibrant art scene.”

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The National: Contemporary art in the Middle East

Friday’s The National had an interesting article by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, which responds to the criticism that Middle Eastern cities are “importing culture” from the West. First, it makes the Sharjah Biennial sound like a great party:

The golf course at the Hyatt Regency Dubai is lit up like a 1970s mafia wedding; 24 strands of round, retro light bulbs cascade over the green below like ribbons on an electrified maypole. The artist Khalil Rabah, who directs the Riwaq Biennial in Ramallah, is dancing in his sunglasses despite the darkness of the night. Around him gyrates a throng of artists, curators, friends and colleagues, most of whom are, at this point, barefoot. Rasha Salti, a curator from Beirut, is looping graceful semi-circles around the lawn. Tarek Abou el Fetouh, a curator from Cairo, is waving a scarf above his head and doing what can only be described as a disco dabkeh.

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Emily Jacir: Hugo Boss Prize Exhibition

For years, artist Emily Jacir has addressed the political and social plight of Palestine through an intense and intimate concentration on the everyday. Jacir’s ability to poeticize the quotidian as a way of telling the story of a people – her people – earned her the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize, which carries with it a $100,000 cash prize and a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. This exhibition, which runs through April 15, builds on her ongoing conceptual practice while continuing to bear witness to Palestinian culture. Part archive, part memorial, part performance, the exhibition is a concentrated work of art that presents an image of absence and of a life cut short.

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Sharif Waked, ‘To Be Continued’

To Be Continued
Sharif Waked (2009) Video installation

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