STATEMENT

My interdisciplinary art practice engages issues of time and memory, collective trauma, and diasporic doubling through investigations of historical events, the deconstruction of my role as author, and my own subject position. I see all disciplines through the lens of photography and visual communication to mix methods of image construction. My work uses visual analogy, translation, substitution and appropriation strategies to rethink forms of imaging and communication architectures. 

My aesthetics are project specific and emerge through my research-based practice or investigation into form and content alike. My works with photography, video, installation, graphic design, lecture performance and in the archives seek to engage and subvert national geopolitical power dynamics. My work stages questions between site and the body in relation to my own identities and locale to debunk metaphoric surrounding contested geographies. I am an artist whose work centers on questions of site, staging relations between sites, whether between locations or between bodies, where one of the sites is always related to myself. In recent works I often play between antagonism and relational aesthetics.

Robert Smithson writes that the non-site can represent the site without resembling it in a metaphoric relationship. I’m not working with representation between sites and non-sites. I’m framing a linkage that is much more fraught in terms of contested geographies. If a metaphor is stating that something/site is like something/site else, the “like” being the relation. 

As a Palestinian artist, I seek to complicate historical hierarchies. I am the result of my generation, experiencing the entire Second Intifada and trying to frame or shape it in different way. By subverting notions of oppression and victimhood, these historical narratives fuel my passionate gaze toward the Middle East and invite others to see the region in new ways. My work shows how the case of Palestine is more broadly connected to the problems of the Arab world and the whole world and to see our historic relationship to colonization and imperialism. From there my work investigates truth vs. fiction, ambiguity vs. didacticism, fake/copy vs. original and appropriation vs. plagiarism. 

I make a satire of this initial assumption of likeness. I start out with an existing superficial connection between sites based on a surface resemblance - a tenuous crossover related to a name, a language group, a resemblance in layout - one site is often a form of copy of the other. Through the dubious link to the original, the copy begins to ask questions of the status of the original. I start from there, but quickly I go in another direction.

By speaking through others, reading one location across another, or even to trans-create from one site to another. My work might be able to expose structural conditions of another location. So what does it matter what kind of link I construct between locations? What does it matter who is speaking? I don't exactly know, all I can say now is that it matters.


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