Generations Dialogue

Rania Habib , Architecture Digest

At Tabari Artspace in DIFC, the work of three Palestinian artists explore the themes of identity through painting, photography and sculpture. Hazem Harb, Mohammed Joha and Sliman Mansour take part in El Beit, an inter-generational exhibition that reflects on the collective experience of lost identity and displacement in Palestine. Harb’s collages, inspired by Lake Tiberias in the Galilee, take shape with a mixture of archival images of the lake as well as photographs the artist has taken himself. A large image depicts the interior of a home at Lake Tiberias, which transforms a part of the gallery into a space reminiscent of a Palestinian home. Creating a dialogue, modernist Mansour’s works are placed atop Harb’s photographs, allowing both artists to rebuild and re-imagine a homeland that has become inaccessible to most. Mansour is one of the country’s most celebrated artists (he was born in Birzeit and currently lives in Jerusalem) and will show works from his famed Ten Years in Mud series, which was born out of his movement to boycott Israeli-imported art supplies and use only locally-sourced materials such as mud, henna and clay. As for Joha, his 14 collages examine the systematic destruction of Palestinian homes as a result of the conflict. Some fictional and some drawn from his memories, the homes consider the themes of childhood, freedom, identity and revolution. As two generations of Palestinian artists dialogue through El Beit, the exhibition offers a critical insight into the ongoing impact of the conflict and its effect on shaping national identity and legacy. From February 6.