Gray Zone, Alte Handelsschule, Leipzig, Germany. 2021
My artworks move between the autobiographical and political axis, sometimes blurring the boundary between the two categories. I grew up torn between a Palestinian and Israeli identity. I am often faced with social and political pressures to embody a specific identity, to be part of a particular group and to subscribe to certain opinions. My work as an artist aims to blur these simple definitions. I use paintings, installations, objects not only as a means of selfexpression, but also to talk about broader sociopolitical issues and to dissolve biases which exist within my community. My work interprets the reality I grew up in. As the daughter of a working class family, a large part of the exhibition is inspired by my parents. My father works as a building
renovator and my mother is a seamstress. Through my parents, I talk about us as a society. I ask questions with the help of the materials they work with.
I started to become a hybrid being, moving between oriental and western influences, and dealing with both of them in my art. The style of my work is expressive, there are signs of oriental motifs. I love using wood, textiles, concrete, asphalt and metal. I tend to use templates and ready forms of decorations in order to break and destroy their perfect shape. Through vivid colors, industrial materials and building materials,
my works oscillate between naivety and aggression, harmony and disharmony, purity and filth, beauty and monstrosity. There is a sense of urgency to struggle with the material.
My symbols lack any actual source. A lack of knowledge about the identity of the figures amplifies feelings of peculiarity, isolation and fear. In one of my works, I interpret and reformulate an old photo from my family album.
Naive family figures are interpreted as religious icons, as distant objects. The industrial materials I use are inherently very visual; they invite the viewer to touch them. On the other hand, I make my characters bizarre and intensify their detachment as an expressive act which reflects the current political chaos. I am interested in topics like boundaries, territory, hierarchy and gender. Through these topics, I examine the relationship between strong and soft, delicate versus grotesque elements.
Text by Nasrin Abu Baker/ Photography : Amel El Zakout & Valério Araújo