Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New article: 'Subversion' Arabic art exhibition reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 13th May 2012

The final Palestinian contribution is “Gazawood,” by twin al-Aqsa University students known as Tarzan and Arab. In a mocked-up cinema — by the look of it using seats from the Cornerhouse’s own movie theaters downstairs — a short film juxtaposes close-ups of an artist painting in thick, bloody red oils with a parody of action films.
A grimy, sweating fighter in fatigues hears the electronic message that “everything is over — finished,” and sets off through the bombed-out concrete of Gaza to the top floor of a half-destroyed building. There, he encounters his double — are the twins playing on their identical features to comment on internecine warfare between Fatah and Hamas? The overblown soundtrack, worthy of a Bruce Willis or Steven Seagal action flick, merges into the whirling, chaotic sound of a helicopter.
Meanwhile, along the back wall of the “cinema,” the twins’ features reappear in a series of posters, ostensibly for similar action films, but all with the names of Israeli military operations against Palestine and the Palestinians — Spring of Youth, Cast Lead, Autumn Clouds and so on. The Abu Nasser twins may have grown up in a Gaza without cinemas, but they twist Hollywood’s own tropes deftly and wryly to comment on the violent environment in which they have grown up.

The full article is here.

One comment on “New article: 'Subversion' Arabic art exhibition reviewed

  1. Pingback: ‘The Source’ (La source des femmes) /  Sarah Irving

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