2012

19.5.2012 – 20.7.2012

Curator: Yael Argov Hacmun

Assistant Curator: Adham Gbareen

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Date of exhibition – 06.26.2012
The exhibition’s title – Memory and Migration
Curator of the exhibition – Ismail Nashef
artists participating in the exhibition  - Osama Saeed, Zuhdi Qadri, Muhammad Fadl, Anisa Ashkar, Muhannad Jacoby, Ismail Bahri, and Fazal Sheikh

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Date of exhibition – 06.30.2012

Title of the exhibition – 800 years to Umm al Fahm

Curators – Yael Hachmon and Adham Gbarin

artists participating in the exhibition – Lea Avital, Liat Elbling, Anisa Ashkar, Oren Ben teacher, Huda Jamal, Sharon Glzberg Linda Weiss, Nirith Trade, Rafat Hateb, Shadi Yassin, our names bread, Abraham factions, Liali Khaws, Nimrod Reuveni, Ayelet Kestler , Assa Bigger, Tamar heart on.

The exhibition was set up at sites in houses of Umm al-Fahm and gallery

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Date of exhibition – 12.22.2012

Title of the exhibition – the Arab Spring

Curator of the exhibition – Haim Maor

artists participating in the exhibition – Khader and Shah

The catalog was funded by the Mifal HaPayis

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Date of exhibition – 12.22.2012

The exhibition’s title – present and Depositary

Curator of the exhibition – Salim Abu Goebel

artists participating in the exhibition  - Nasreen Abu Bakr

The catalog was funded by the Mifal HaPayis

The Present  Absent” (“Hanochakh Nifkad”), the title of the exhibition, hints at all the Palestinians that were was forced to abandon their homes during the 1948 Nakhba and to move to nearby villages and settlements, to be refugees and exiles in their native land. Israel granted them citizenship, but they were not allowed to return to their homes. The State of Israel took over these houses and promulgated the “Law of the Present Absent” – accounted for on the lists, but kept away from their homes. By dropping the monosyllabic first letter “Ha” of “Hanifkad”, the Hebrew word for absente, and thus changing its grammatical usage from adjective to verb/direct object, Nasrin Abu Baker emphasizes absence as an actual action. The figures in her works exude a physical presence, but they are “absentees” when it comes to their ability to be of influence, invisible to the state’s institutions.

 

Nasrin Abu Baker’s body of works is wide-ranging and broad. While still a very young girl, she would frequent her father’s building supplies storage room, gaze at the colors and take in their aromas. Her love for art began there, so it was only natural that she would use raw materials like cement, tar and work boots in her creations. Abu Baker draws her ideas from the storage room of the home where she grew up, from backstage, symbolic of a dark place containing the accumulation of the remains of her home, as well as the passage of time. In addition, she used materials that were of value in the environment of the family’s collective memory and taken from the area where the house stands, like bolts of cloth, pillows, curtains and dresses.

 

While her works pose questions regarding the status of the Palestinian women, Abu Baker draws her inspiration from daily life, and concerns such as work, livelihood and the status of Israel’s Arab citizens inform the choice of her topics. The simple compositions express the two-fold chauvinistic oppression of the Palestinian woman – by her own society and by the authorities of the ruling state. Juxtaposing the image of the Palestinian woman with that of the Palestinian laborer, she reinforces the concept of loving the land and the homeland.

 

Nasrin Abu Baker depicts life by means of her unique definition of what it is, by employing a variety of colors, as well as abstractions in black, to emphasize pain. The vitality of her ideas is most obvious in her installations, where she presents a surrealistic world of dreams acting to destroy conventions and stereotypes. Nevertheless, the language she chooses is understandable and clear, characterizing the weak and marginal groups while at the same time talking with them.

 

Salim Abu Jabal

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Date of exhibition – 12.22.2012

The exhibition’s title – Visual Memory

Curator of the exhibition – Abed Abdi

artists participating in the exhibition – Fuad Ighbarieh

The catalog was funded by the Mifal HaPayis

Fouad Agbaria is a graduate of the Art department of the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem, who is studying at Haifa University now for his MFA. Once he had received his degree from Bezalel, Agbaria decided on a traditional Palestinian way of life, and he returned to Umm el-Fahem to work and family life. The gap separating the bohemian lifestyle of the individual artist and his daily life as the father of a family, has been the central motif of his works ever since thena.

Utilizing a glaring modernist style of painting, he leads the viewer to the local landscape, the lost vistas of his childhood. He returns to Musmus, the village where he was born, to reexamine the limitations of the place where he functions as a mature, sober man of social-political awareness.  Agbaria’s topics enthrall the eye of the viewer: sketches of Musmus; the world of his childhood among the sabra fences; the old house; the aroma of hyssop (“za’atar”), the vetch fields; the cattle and sheep herds at harvest time, and the olive orchards. Viewers find themselves standing before images in which the local aromas can just about be smelled – za’atar, cumin and other spices that have been a part of the wadi since time immemorial. These and other topics can be seen in Agbaria’s intense experiments to revive the art of design molds in his lithographs from 2000-2004, when he was at Bezalel, and they appear once again in his new oil paintings that are part of the current exhibition, a gestalt, so to speak, a repetitive pattern of thought that does not let go.

The new paintings, such as “Self Portrait,” or those dealing with the landscapes of his childhood that are repeated again and again, each time in different composition, are treated with colors that deviate from the artist’s traditional palette of gleaming colors, those dominant in the dialogue for which he is known, and which are an expression of the sort of nostalgia that awakens the memory, but doesnot arouse the consciousness with a scream. The issues on exhibit in this quality collection express moods and dispositions, together with the daily fight for existence. However, they are all ways, from different points of views, of coping with challenges. As the artist himself remarks:

The story I tell in my new works represents aspects of the suffering I experience, on the level of the collective as well, including self-criticism to the degree this is possible, to bind my artistic endeavors strongly to my society and its problems.

 

Abed Abdi

 

The Catalog of Fouad Agbaria: Visual Memory


Khader Oshah’s life story and artistic works intertwine, and they influence one another. Oshah, born in Gaza to a Palestinian family, married a Bedouin woman, and he loves in Israel now, in Rahat a Bedouin town, as an Israeli citizen. This complex existential existence preoccupies him both as a person and as an artist.

The paintings in this exhibition were created between 2010-2012, and they are part of an ongoing series of works – responses to the dramatic, violent events, unprecedented in intensity as well as in scope, that began on 18 December 2010 in Tunisia and continued from there throughout most Arab countries. Oshah followed the development of the events, termed “The Arab Spring” by the media (الربيع العربي in Arabic- “-a- abiah al-arabi), with emotional tension and concern, as an involved spectator with a tri-fold identify. As an Arab by nationality, he experienced the intensity of his people’s protest movement; as an Israeli citizen, he observed what was happening and wondered how the revolution could give birth to such human monsters that abuse their own people in the name of ideology and under the army’s aegis. As a Muslim, he saw how the Koran’s pure “Way of Peace” (Islam)was becoming infected and warped by those preaching in the name of the religion or acting, so they say, in its name, or in that of hegemonic regimes – and in doing so, violate and belittle the religion. Oshah saved the sights of the Arab Spring captured on film, on his personal computer, to be transformed into a concoction of colorful processed images that also are vessels filled with the rage and astonishment, shock and compassion of the artist/human being.

Oshah’s paintings serve as opinionated artistic précis, expressing disgust at the evil that has erupted, which resulted in the blood of “the other” being shed. They correspond with the tradition of historical European painting and featureclusters of profoundly expressive intensely colored or monochrome scenes, the paint applied expressively, in large format and open-composition dynamic intersections. Some of the painted scenes are references to similar visual situations depictured in (Western-Christian) art down through the ages: Michelangelo Buonarotti’s “Pieta” (1499); Rembrandt van Rijn’s ”The Anatomy Lesson” (1632), “The Scream” by Edvard Munch (1893, and others. The quotations create the necessary associative link, connecting present with past – historical images of refugee movement, emigration and displacement familiar to Oshah from old faded and yellowed snapshots of the passive-victimized heritage of his family and people. Sights from the present intersect those from the past, and it is not always clear to the viewer, whether any particular image the artist draws, hasemerged from the stockpile of collective-historical memory, or is based on an Internet file from yesterday or today.

Prof. Haim Maor

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Doris Bloom (Denmark/South Africa) in cooperation with William Kentridge (South Africa

Memory & Geography: “Fire/Gateway” is the result of collaboration between two artists, Doris Bloom, and William Kentridge, that was created for the First Biennale for Art, Johannesburg, in 1995, after the fall of South Africa’s apartheid regime. Bloom, born in South Africa, is a performance artist active inDenmark/South Africa. Kentridge, is the most prominent South African artist on the contemporary art scene, known for his sketches, video and works of animation, which deal with relationships based on power and dominance, exploitation and freedom, on both the local and universal level. The artistic collaboration between Kentridge and Bloom, while falls into a category somewhere between performance and earthwork, included two special events in public, where the artists ignited monumental fire sketches on the ground, in the shape of a gate and a human heart

The current exhibition showcases video documentary material, stills and prints. The videos document the work as it progressed from sketches until implementation, based on interviews with the artists, photographs presenting bird’s-eye views of the sketches aflame in public, and prints featuring monochromatic details of imagery, the result of artistic endeavor.

On one hand, this is performance art – two artists working together, from planning and sketching the mock-up, to translating the sketch into an actual commodity by enlarging it to a sketch of monumental proportions on the ground, covering it with flammable material and setting it on fire, to create fire writing. On the other, the work may be categorized as earthwork, since it fits all the criteria for the genre, which came to prominence in the 1970s, when artists used natural and synthetic materials to create monumental sculptural environments in open spaces – intervening in the landscape at times and even altering it for a pre-determined time. Art researcher Rosalind E. Kraus, in her article “Sculpture in the Expanded Field,” suggested a new multi-disciplinary way of looking, which incorporates sculpture, architecture, and nature, and tests limits unceasingly. Examining Bloom and Kentridge’s artistic endeavor, we discover a work of art that is performance, sketching in space, earthwork and fire writing, all in one.

The use of fire is a reference to early periods, when messages were transmitted by means of bonfires that could be seen from afar. Fire is a sign, a means of human communication. The monumental image on the ground references the occult symbols of Mayan culture; from the Israeli perspective, fire writing is associated with youth movements and their camping and other activities. In the context of South Africa, a new significance was added to the fire writing: fire burns, annihilates and destroys, but in burning, it creates the image itself, whichlights up the darkness like a bring star – an activity highlighting a rare meeting between being and nothingness, life and death.

The gate, which represents the entrance to an entire space or the departure from it, calls the arches of triumph to mind and represents the beginning of life and maybe the transition from slavery to freedom too, which hints at South Africa’s social and political condition after the apartheid era had ended. The heart appears twice, once as decoration on the gate and once in its own right, symbolizing openness and love and signaling the possibility of living.

Irit Carmon Popper