Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New article: London’s P21 gallery and the ‘Refractions’ show

Electronic Intifada, 5th February 2013

Even more shocking, perhaps, is [Laila Shawa‘s] video work “Gaza Fashion Week,” which shows a woman clad in a jilbab (a loose-fit coat) and headscarf being forced to strip in an open-air cage at a military checkpoint. The Israeli soldier’s commands are conveyed to the woman by loudspeakers, compelling her to lift her head to try and work out where the sound is coming from, and to shout her replies into the ether. The work meshes the quasi-erotic act of publicly disrobing with a horribly stunning conclusion.
Alongside these international names are comparative newcomers such as Jenin-based video artist Khaled Jarrar, who blends humor and skilful cinematography in satirical comments on life under Israeli occupation. In “Volleyball” we see a cheeky, slightly nervous Jarrar chipping away at Israel’s wall in the West Bank with a stone chisel and sweeping up the resulting pile of dust and fragments of cement. On the floor near the video screen sits the result of his foray: a volleyball made of the re-cast concrete, too heavy to easily move, let alone throw over the height of Israel’s “barrier.”

The full article is here.

And just to add – anyone in London this side of March 16th really should go to P21 and see this exhibition. It’s moving, funny, beautiful and horrible. One day, something unexpected will happen to me and I’ll be rich enough to buy a Tayseer Barakat painting or two – ideally Deir Ghassaneh:

Deir Ghassaneh by Tayseer Barakat - image courtesy of P21 Gallery and the artist

Deir Ghassaneh by Tayseer Barakat – image courtesy of P21 Gallery and the artist

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