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In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain

Larissa Sansour


Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm, FREE

The Mosaic Rooms are proud to present the first London solo exhibition of internationally exhibited artist Larissa Sansour, with new works that examine the contemporary politics of present day Israel/Palestine.

The exhibition will feature an acclaimed 29-minute video piece, large format photographs and two object-based installations never before exhibited in the UK. In the video, which gives the exhibition its title, the artist presents a vision of a post-apocalyptic world in which a hooded figure, haunted by her past, plants fabricated archaeological evidence to secure the destiny of her people.

The installation Revisionist Production Line continues Sansour’s exploration of archaeology as a tool of contemporary warfare.  A production line appears to be mass-producing porcelain plates printed with the keffiyeh pattern, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.  The piece highlights the contemporary political use of archaeological practice as a means to post-manufacture fact and support pre-stated histories.

In the newest installation, Archaeology in Absentia, the audience will encounter a series of exquisitely crafted bronze bombs. Inside each is a metal disc inscribed with coordinates referring to a site in the West Bank where Sansour has recently buried porcelain during a live performance. Intended to belong in various museum collections, these metal pieces offer a reversal of standard museum display – instead of objects that belong to the past, they reference a future yet to be revealed. The installation poses important questions about the role of museums and their collections in the formation of national identity, the presentation of history and constitution of the future.

Larissa Sansour’s work explores the crossover between the fictional and the factual, interrogating personal and political issues. In this ambitious show, Jerusalem-born Sansour creates a vision of a futuristic world where the excavation of the past is a battleground. The artist offers a poetic and charged reflection on the politicisation of archaeology where the material past is used as a tool to justify territorial claims and assert historic entitlement.  This is in particular reference to Israel/Palestine but is also reflective of other contested spaces and histories.

Larissa Sansour (b. 1973) was born in East Jerusalem, Palestine and now lives and works in London. Her work is interdisciplinary, utilising video, photography, sculpture and installation. She describes the central theme of her work as exploring ‘the tug and pull of fiction and reality in a Middle-Eastern context’, and has recently used both science fiction and comic books to explore this. Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, France; the Istanbul Biennial; Sharjah, UAE; and the Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark.

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