Family Business 2023
A line of photographs surrounds the viewers upon entering the exhibition space. The illuminated and adorned photographs evoke a painterly sense of icons and altarpiece paintings. All the photographs were taken from old family albums of the artist: images of herself as a child, her close family, parents, aunt, and cousin. She liberates them from their original background of photography - sometimes a European landscape of a studio, sometimes a backdrop of a ID card - and constructs a new narrative around them. She isolates her childhood environment and envelops it with architectural elements, some reminiscent of mosques and others influenced by the landscapes she absorbed during her recent years living in Germany. Or as a return to the landscape of her childhood, landscapes of valleys and villages nestled in hills are used to emphasize the tension between identities and spaces, and to navigate the axis between the biographical and the political.
The works correspond with Abu Baker's personal biography as a tribute to her parents who worked for years as a seamstress and a renovator, respectively, professions marked in the society as "blue-collar" occupations primarily associated with minorities. Seeking to examine her own connection to the laboring class in contrast to the field of art, Abu Bakr turns the identification between ethnicity and social status into a cultural signifier associated with social and economic periphery.
The artwork consists of materials such as plaster, wood, and fabric alongside decorated household objects and ceramic sculptures that the artist herself sculpted. Moving between East and West, both in terms of technical means and the subject of the work, Abu Baker creates a dialogue between different types of objects by merging traditional and new materials, possessing value and memory that she subverts, thus raising questions about aesthetics, gender, and political conflicts. Humor and satire are also integral parts of the works, combining high art with folk art and between rooted national and familial dimensions.
Nasrin Abu Baker, divides her time between Israel and Germany. She holds a bachelor's degree from Beit Berl College of Art and completed her master's studies at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, Germany in 2021.
Curator: Meital Manor
Photography: Daniel Hanoch