Exhibition
8 March 2022–14 May 2022

Entangled Existence

8 March 2022–14 May 2022 | Part of Alserkal Art Week

In this exhibition, six artists come together to express how their existence is entangled with the land and nature.

Starts 8 March 2022

Ends 14 May 2022

Venue Zawyeh Gallery

Warehouse 27

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In this exhibition, six artists come together to express how their existence is entangled with the land and nature. Bashir Qonqar, Nabil Anani, Bashar Alhroub, Ruba Salameh, Yazan Abu Salameh, and Dia Mrad, voyage through their relationship with nature and surroundings using a variety of mediums.

Bashir Qonqar explores the woods as a metaphor for life and existence. He presents several artworks using acrylic and oil on canvas and Chinese ink on jute. By painting the woods, Qonqar reveals what’s hidden inside his head: entangled trees and branches and layers of vibrant colours. Although the woods stand as a metaphor for a safe internal sanctuary, it also becomes a source of constant fear for him. Refugees can be seen hiding between those branches looking at a far away fruit plate in what looks like a still life painting titled Hunting Season. This work depicts the tragedy of thousands of abandoned refugees stuck in the woods on the borders of Poland.

Bashar Alhroub artistic styles vary as much as the methods he uses to express his favorite theme: Spirituality. In his work Heavenly Sky, he uses ink on paper to depict the city of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in its center. He gives the city a sad/past effect by using black and white, while he presents the skies with golden colour.

Nabil Anani presents some of his landscape works; dreamy landscapes that can only be found in a utopic Palestine free of occupation. In his last series, Anani includes large figures as focal points, blended with nature. The integration between the land/nature and humans manifests clearly as the branches and roots of the trees bend and twist all over these female bodies turning into veins and arteries. Anani uses female bodies to emphasize the connotation of “motherland” to stress the beauty of the land and the importance of the connection with nature. The works are painted in cheerful, vibrant colours, and their titles further stress the theme: The Land and I and Branches and Sprigs.

In Ruba Salameh’s works, one can see the entanglement between the geometric shapes and the small ants she draws which disrupt the monotonous harmony on the canvas in a rather unexpected way. The ants are extraterrestrial elements, yet organic creatures of the earth, and they can be found crawling on a piece of natural linen canvas. The artworks bring to mind a similarity of the notion of the resilience of an indigenous population in a situation where their own living space diminishes continuously as a result of incessant expanding domination by interstitial power, represented in this case, by the neat geometric shapes.

Yazan Abu Salameh presents a series of artworks that continues to discuss the rapidly changing urban environment as a result of the apartheid wall and its impact on daily life. Living in Bethlehem and encountering the Israeli Apartheid Wall, the endless concrete roadblocks, watchtowers, checkpoints, new buildings...etc, Abu Salameh thinks that our cities do not look like us anymore. Through his artworks, he tries to penetrate the blocked horizon and make a way for the beams of the sunlight as his figures keep seeking freedom.

Dia Mrad, a Lebanese photographer, who comes from an architecture background, expresses his fascination with the city he lives in; Beirut. These photographs are part of a series he took aiming to document the physical history of Beirut by first looking back at abandoned landmarks and neglected structures that once shaped the culture of the city. The project develops to look into the contemporary history of the city and its recent unfolding transformation and sheds light on the architecture that might face the same destiny and slip into forgotten history.


Cover Image:
DIA MRAD
Trees Composition (2022)
FineArt Inkjet print on archival paper (Hahnemühle 310 gsm)
70 x 90 cm | Edition of 5
Coutesy of the artist