Hazem Harb Palestinian, b. 1980

"By bringing the forgotten and marginalized to the fore, artists have the power to wrest the writing of history from the victors. Palestinian artist Hazem Harb is one such case. His photographic collages gather the fragments of Palestine’s pre-Nakba history and reformulate them into works that explore memory, power, and heritage, to question who gets to write history, in what manner, and for whom."

 

Sandra S. Williams, assistant curator, LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Visual artist Hazem Harb’s trajectory, spanning several decades, maintains an unwavering dialogue with his symbolically charged homeland.

 

Knowing that his place of origin can never be just a ‘land’, the artist unleashes an ever-evolving repertoire of artistic techniques to negotiate a space which has been carved up and re-drawn many times. His art is at once subsumed in deep locality, fuelled by personal insight, and entangled in conversations that cannot be easily separated from the global arena.

 

Much like the artists of the early twentieth century who, through the deployment of collage, healed from the trauma of the first world war by binding together everyday and artistic experiences; Harb succeeds in materialising complex and unfamiliar terrain. Operating as a researcher, by collecting and synthesising archives of rarified ephemera including photographs, negatives and maps, Harb mediates his materials in a manner which dismantles them from a static space. Through a process of collage, layered down with geometric precision, he stitches visual artefacts together and forms fresh constructions that invite unheard discourses and a historical rethinking.