Dor Guez, Understanding the Land

Goodman Gallery, London

23 November 2022 – 14 January 2023

Dor Guez is an artist and scholar, who was born in Jerusalem to a Christian-Palestinian household on his mom’s facet, and a household of Jewish immigrants on his father’s facet. Residing and dealing between Jaffa and New York, he’s well-known for his pictures, video installations, essays, and lecture-performances that discover the connection between artwork, trauma, and displacement. Previously 20 years, his follow has centered on archival supplies and pictures of the Center East and North Africa.

The exhibition title ‘Understanding the Land’ refers to Joseph Schwarz, one of many first geographers of Ottoman Palestine. A brand new collection of layered botanic images are on show on the bottom flooring of the gallery. Primarily based on a Nineteen Sixties information to flora in Palestine, Guez focuses on crops rising in nationwide borders within the Levant to replicate on how nature is appropriated to create a way of nationwide identification: “Vegetation usually bear names of cities, nations, and peoples, framing them as ‘Syrian’, ‘Damascene’, ‘Jordanian’, ‘Egyptian’, ‘Persian’, ‘Land of Israel’, ‘Arab’, ‘Palestinian’, ‘Jewish’, and extra” says Guez.

The artist’s most up-to-date sculptural collection, 90° away from the Solar, 2022, is dispersed all through the exhibition. On the ground, we will see sliced basalt rocks from the Israel-Syria border which float on a reflective floor that simulates strains on a map. The rock items are paired with historic measuring devices hanging from the ceiling. The basalt, which is exclusive to this space, creates a magnetic discipline that disrupts the performance of a compass, making it difficult for army forces to navigate the world.

Qalâat Al-Husan, 2022, the centre piece of ‘Understanding the Land’ was filmed in a historic basalt stone-built metropolis, an archaeological web site positioned between Syria and Israel, referred to as Hippos. Right now, entry to the location is restricted and has been deserted, because of minefields left over from previous wars. With decreased human exercise over the many years, endangered natural world have been capable of flourish once more. For instance, a uncommon species of bats have arrange their roosts in an outdated army base. The soundtrack of the movie consists from recordings of feminine bats in search of prey above the basalt metropolis at evening. The video opens with a distant panoramic gaze recalling historic colonial photographs of the Levant. The motion of sunshine and digicam all through the video evokes gun turrets scanning for a goal, navigation units or the frantic commotion of a battlefield.

In shut proximity to the movie, Guez’s new collection of prints, Amid Imperial Grids, 2022, presents unfavourable photographs of the primary fashionable maps of Palestine courting again to 1885. Guez eliminated any markers from the maps that label the panorama, together with names of roads, cities, mountains, and extra. The ensuing shiny orange and yellow strains appear like pulsating blood vessels.

Each Palestinian and Israeli, Guez’s private background embodies the notion of hybridity, and his work maps the area the place a number of cultures have collided into one. “My work doesn’t goal to show who is correct and who’s fallacious. Dichotomous pondering doesn’t curiosity me” says Guez. “The thought can also be to show narratives which to a sure extent oppose the idea of nationalism.”

Dor Guez’s highly effective and visually intriguing exhibition ‘Understanding the Land’ invitations audiences to interact in new methods of seeing, realizing, and understanding the complexities of the Center East at present.

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Christine Takengny
Senior Curator

26 Cork Street, London W1S 3ND
Opening Occasions: Tuesday to Friday 10am to 6pm; Saturday 11am to 4pm
Exhibition open till
14 January 2023