March 9th from 7.p.m. – 10 p.m. Exhibition dates: 09/03/10 – 04/04/10
Exhibited artists: Raed Bawayah, Noel jabbour, Richard Mosse, Steve Sabella, Hady Sy and Sama Alshaibi
“When we plumbed the depth of our Arab Heritage searching for a luminous gem to light up our present and restore what has been forgotten or lost from our lives today which is Love, we brought back a pearl of everlasting incandescence – indeed a torch whose flame never dies out so long as two souls breath in love.” – Marcel Khalife
This is not a love song. This is not a theme exhibition. This is not a curators’ statement. This is a tribute to the few people on this planet who stand still to the test of time and tyranny, who do not bow down, blend in or give up, but who show a tenacity and force of will, who have a defiant soul that cannot be crushed. These are the people who give hope, – of the gritty kind, not the sugary sweet substitute – , because they do not pretend there is an exit from the human condition, but who nevertheless want a solution. These are the people who do not wait for the light at the end of the tunnel, but who simply start digging a way out. These are the people who keep reinventing themselves every time they get crushed to the ground.
This is not a love song is a gathering of voices and views, of positions taken and abandoned, issuing forth from and reflecting back on the situation Palestinians are facing on a day to day basis. We do not feign to give a comprehensive overview of contemporary Palestinian fine art photography. For to comprehend this field, one must first apprehend the situation, and exactly that is the nexus of the Palestinian question: that no one ever agrees on what is actually the case. We don’t get the picture, instead we get many pictures and perspectives, filtered through individual experiences, national interests, global politics, religious wars – with some of these perspectives being marketed more aggressively than others.
Amidst this turmoil of vying factions forever demanding we show our colors, all that we bring is our bleeding heart. Yet if that is what it takes to be political, then the works brought together for This is not a love song are political to the core. There is a stubborn insistence to make up one’s own mind and a decided refusal to be made party to the interests of others. We find a need to engage with the growing numbers of those forced to make a home among the ruins. We see an aversion against the spectacular outfit which the struggle for power dons for the eyes of the world. We sense a deeply felt conviction, that it is of utmost importance that we keep resisting the voices telling us that life is dispensable, who want us to forget that the only proportion that sets the scale is the human one. Art may not be able to change the real reality of life lived in conflict areas, what it can do is silently point to what we should not lose sight of in our struggle to survive.