Young Artist of the Year Award 2014 (YAYA14)
Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm, FREE
The Mosaic Rooms are pleased to present a selection of work from the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award 2014, (YAYA14), for the first time in the UK.
The works shown are diverse — spanning film, performance, installation and painting — unified through the shared theme of ‘Suspended Accounts.’ Originally curated by Viviana Checchia and envisioned by her as a long-term project, the work grew from an intensive process in which the curator and the nine finalist artists connected, critiqued and developed their work over time, through virtual forums as well as one-to-one discussion and group sessions. The process was shared with various art practitioners who offered critical support and guidance to the young artists. Checchia has used the same principle for this London presentation: the six selected artists and curator have been meeting online to discuss and re-envision the work in the particular context of The Mosaic Rooms. This has also resulted in an associated public programme of four events.
Beneath the overarching concept, the works are explored through three subthemes. In ‘Invisible Narratives’ the artists aim to reveal what remains unseen. Hamody Gannam’s sound installation of archive boxes, Wadi Nisnas, aims to remember the stories the Israeli occupation attempts to erase, through a series of interviews with the residents of Wadi Nisnas, a segment of what remains of Haifa’s old city. In Farah Saleh’s interactive video dance installation A Fidayee Son in Moscow, she invites viewers to experience the Interdom, a Moscow school built to host children of international revolutionary parents — including those of the Palestinian leftist leadership. The artist examines the significance of gesture through the history of a certain socio-political group.
Thinking in terms of ‘Self- Historicisation’ the artists use references to the past to question present identity. Iman Al Sayed’s mixed media installation Re-repeat, explores her father’s memories and archival material as a means of connecting with her own Palestinian identity, questioning the function of memory both real and imaginary. Meanwhile Bashar Khalaf’s A Shadow of the Shadow seeks to bring the vision of established Palestinian artist Suleiman Mansour into the present; each painting in Khalaf’s series sits in dialogue with a specific painting by Mansour alongside it.
In ‘Imagination’, the artists are projecting alternative or fictional visions. Noor Abu Arafeh’s video installation Observational Desire on a Memory that Remains, is an attempt to present an alternative archive of Palestinian art history — translating undocumented and imagined works in the medium of film, whilst questioning what remains in memory. Noor Abed’s video installation Penelope explores ideas of futility, homeland and time, taking inspiration from Homer’s Odyssey.
Scattered globally, or born and raised away from the land of their parents, many of these artists seek to connect with their Palestinian identity by imagining, reflecting on, or appropriating others’ experiences. Exploring the memories of others, examining archives, imagining and constructing undocumented artifacts, questioning recorded histories, and interrogating ideas of identity, the exhibition presents an insight into the practices of today’s emerging Palestinian artists.
Private View: 14 January 2016, 6.30-8.30pm. Rsvp@mosaicrooms.org
Follow the exhibition on Twitter: #YAYA14