the exhibitions of 2014
Date of exhibition – 05.14.2014 – 06.25.2014 Title of the exhibition – an exhibition of young talents Curator of the exhibition – Fuad Ighbarieh
Participating Artists- Students
“The Benevolent Tree,” the exhibition scheduled to take place at the Umm El Fahem Art Gallery, is an attempt by 78 Israeli and Palestinian artists, to reinvigorate the broader discussion on the essence, importance and symbolism of the olive tree.
The sanctity of the olive tree has become intertwined with the sanctity of the land, to form a single entity symbolizing the difficult arguments and bloody conflict that have been going on for years on end. Many artists have been inspired by the image of the olive tree and its diversity of connotations and have incorporated the tree into their works. Even though it is “the benevolent tree,” the olive tree – uprooted from its natural surroundings, passed around from hand to hand, vandalized and rehabilitated – has experienced hardships and bumpy roads. Ironically, the intensity of the ongoing conflict escalates during the olive harvest, when the tree’s bounty – its fruit and its blessing – is manifest.
Despite the difficult times, art and cultural activity still have the power to shift public discourse back its central position, as the basis for a lively, respectful dialogue, even on controversial issues. The purpose of this exhibition is to arouse questions and thought, to resuscitate the wide-ranging discussions that all of us are eager to see renewed.
Daniel Kahana, the curator, has spent many years researching the olive tree’s status in local visual art. The Umm El Fahem Art Gallery, which serves as a cultural platform and meeting place for supporters of art and peace, is pleased to host “The Benevolent Tree,” which he has curated. Dozens of leading Israeli and Palestinian artists from throughout the country are taking part in this comprehensive exhibition, which is to be showcased on three floors of the gallery.
“I am using this exhibition to tell the tree’s story as a way of telling the story of survival, since it appears that the tree is a reflection of the stages in the development of settlement in this part of the world all through history, in the clearest possible way. The exhibition will focus on the olive tree – uprooted from its physical and symbolic roots, which play an important part in the identity of its various owners, as well as in the interpretation of local art. “