Tabari Artspace is proud to present El Beit, a collective showing of contemporary and modernist Palestinian artists exploring themes of identity through painting, photography and sculpture. Featuring the work of three artists – Hazem Harb, Mohammed Joha and Sliman Mansour – the exhibition reflects on the collective experience of lost identity and displacement in Palestine. The show’s title, which translates from Arabic as ‘feel at home,’ makes reference to these themes.
By facilitating a dialogue between two different generations of artists, El Beit casts a light on the ongoing impact of the Palestine-Israel conflict whilst providing an insight into various artistic practices and perspectives in Palestine today. Issues of modern Palestinian collective memory and its role in shaping national identity and historic legacy unite the artists, despite their distinct styles and points of reference.
Contemporary artist Hazem Harb shows a series of collage works inspired by the lake in the city of Tiberias. This lake has long been considered a sacred area that holds significance for Palestinians. The city was used as an important centre in Palestine for many decades until the 1936–1939 Arab revolt, which is a central theme in Harb’s works. The collages are formed from a mixture of archive images of the lake as well as photographs the artist has taken himself.
In addition, Harb’s installs an enlarged archive photograph depicting the interior of a home situated at Lake Tiberias, transforming a section of the gallery, into a domestic setting. Modernist artist Sliman Mansour’s paintings Girl in the Village and Father and Mother on their Wedding Day are displayed atop this photograph. The former depicts a young woman standing in a thobe, a customary Palestinian dress, framed by an abstract landscape in the background which is evocative of Palestinian tradition
Father and Mother on their Wedding Day depicts the artist’s parents, enclosed in a frame of olive trees. Many Palestinians consider the olive tree to be a symbol of nationality and connection to the land. This installation situates both of the artists’ works in direct dialogue within a familiar