Monday, March 16, 2009

ahlam shibli "unhoming" in warsaw (curated by ana janevski)

Ahlam Shibli, Dom Dziecka, 2008
Ahlam Shibli

"Wydomowienie - Unhoming"

Curator: Ana Janevski

Official opening: Friday, March 20, 2009, 18h00
March 20 - May 4, 2009

The Museum of Modern Art in Warsawul. Panska 300-124 Warsaw, Poland

The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw presents "Wydomowienie - Unhoming", the first solo show in Poland by the Palestinian artist Ahlam Shibli, which consists of three photo series: "Dom Dziecka. The House Starves When You are Away", "Trackers" and "Dependence".
Her recent photo series deal mostly with the everyday life of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation. Finding her inspiration in the tradition of photographers who had documented the life of Palestinian people since the late 19th century, Shibli reduces human presence in her images. Usually her photos present unfinished houses, deserted plains, cemeteries and investigate the traces of the history left on Palestinian villages - as was the case of the series presented at the last Documenta in Kassel - "Arab-al-Sbain" and "Goter".
In the three series of photographs presented in Warsaw, the artist goes beyond the familiar landscape of her own experience, detecting signs of social injustice, misery and instability in a broader historical and sociopolitical context.

"Dom Dziecka. The House Starves When You are Away" is a series of 35 colour and black and white photographs, taken by Ahlam Shibli last year in 11 Polish orphanages - they are displayed for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. "Trackers" (2005) focuses on a group of Palestinians of Bedouin descent, who serve in the Israeli army as volunteer soldiers, while "Dependence" (2007) deals with immigrants in Barcelona who are employed to take care of the elderly.
All those photo series focus on displaced individuals or groups. As the neologism used in the title - "Wydomowienie - Unhoming" - implies, the issue of home, or the lack of it, is central in those works.
Ahlam Shibli's camera provides an insight into the life of the orphanages, into the functioning of a military camp as well as the houses where immigrants work. The artist observes the interiors, inquires the relationships among the members of the groups, follows the moments of intimacy and records all those apparently futile events in the daily routine.
The three series are a result of artist's intensive research and preparatory work in the locations. They are a product of her personal engagement with the subject she deals with, and her mission to cast light onto the otherwise "invisible" members of the society.

Ahlam Shibli was born in 1970 in Palestine. She lives there, recording, as she claims, the realities created by ongoing violations of Palestinian land rights. From 1999 to 2009, Ahlam Shibli has realized several major series of photographs - Interrupted River, Horse Race in Jericho, Wadi Saleib in Nine Volumes, Voyage in Mt. Tabor, Unrecognised, Self Portrait, Five Senses, Positioning, Goter, Catastrophe: Mt. Tabor, Berlin, Refuge in Frost, and Halisa, Trackers, Market, Eastern LGBT, Arab al-Sbaih, The Valley, Dependence which have been shown at museums, galleries and biennials in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Official opening: Friday, March 20, 2009, 18h00
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12h00-20h00.
Closed Mondays
admission free

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