The exhibition "Here in the No-Here" comprises two works: a visual biographic archive and an interactive installation, that offer a contemporary perspective on the relations between the erasure of Palestinian urban space in the Qatamon neighborhood of Jerusalem and the traces left by that erasure in space.
These works were first exhibited in May 2017 in Open Houses, a Zochrot project marking the anniversary of the Nakba, for the third time this year. The project includes tours and artistic interventions in neighborhoods and private homes from which Palestinians were expelled in 1948. This year, the project took place in Qatamon neighborhood in collaboration with researcher and artist Dr. Dorit Naaman and her documentary-interactive project about the neighborhood, Jerusalem We Are Here | يا قدس، نحن هنا.
The exhibition title is borrowed from Mahmoud Darwish’s poem “Mural” (جداريَّة, 1999). The poem deals with the space between life in this world and the profundities of death as rebirth, through a complex dialogue the poet creates between present and future. This newly created space, in the temporal continuum between absence and presence, is a major axis of meaning informing the exhibition.
Until 1948, the “Arab house” – currently the object of architectural and real estate passions detached from its historical context – was a space for the creation of a new and cosmopolitan life, characterized by a medley of languages and offering hospitality at leisure and a venue for political and intellectual debates and meetings of the entire Arab world. That is how it was in Qatamon, as well as in the other cities of Palestine. The fate of the neighborhood dwellers was tied together with that of their home: the people who resided and spent their lives in it, planned it, dreamt of it or wrote about it, were turned overnight, in a violent transition, from natives to refugees.
The two works invite to a multilayered journey along the continuum stretched between Qatamon’s past and present. On their way, they reveal the biographies of the urban Palestinian space relegated to oblivion since the Nakba of 1948, enabling us to imagine spatial, political and symbolic possibilities of return. This is a modest attempt to reweave relations both imagined and concrete between people, places, buildings and streets, then, today and in the future – to rebuild the Arab house without quotation marks as a place, a history, human narratives and faces, in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv and throughout the entire land that is also bound with its fate.
Curators: Debby Farber, Hagit Keysar
Opening Date: 20.7.2017, No Closing Date (Pemanent Exhibition)
Address: Zochrot's Gallery Space, 34 Itzhak Sade Street, Floor No. 4, Room no. 400
Visiting Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thrusday between 11:00-16:00, please make sure to call the office before arriving to the space at 03-6953155