artist highlight: annemarie jacir

I am co-curating an exhibition with CPW's Executive Director Ariel Shanberg called Site Seeing: Explorations in Landscape which opens on January 24th (the reception is 5-7pm). I would like to highlight each artist that is represented in the show over the next few weeks. Today's post is about Annemarie Jacir. I have been a fan of hers for a long time and I am thilled that we are able to include her in this show. Her film takes on an important role in this exhibition, one that can speak to people of all cultures and backgrounds who have been treated like a foreigner in their own land.

Recognizing the personal, political, and social layers found within the everyday landscape, the 11 photographers and film makers featured in Site Seeing: Explorations of Landscape utilize a wide range of visual practices in order to unveil the sublime truths found beneath our feet and before our eyes.

We now live in an age where everything has been mapped, charted, graphed. What is left for us to map? Where can the modern explorer go? Today the multiple layers of meaning and connection to the Landscape are far more apparent. Its ability to bear evidence to our presence and follies is better understood now more than ever. And man’s ability to artificially alter and define the Landscape for our own purposes has grown abundantly clear.

The Landscape has throughout the centuries, born witness to our need to claim, organize and control. The distress of separating and policing the Landscape on an individual’s creative freedom is revealed through Palestinian artist Annemarie Jacir’s short film Like Twenty Impossibles.

Here is a description of the film from Annemarie:

What inspired like twenty impossibles is the continued fragmentation of us as Palestinians – how through the imposition of endless checkpoints and military barriers throughout our own land we have been separated from each other and also criminalized for the mere act of attempting freedom of movement – the right to travel from one place to another. Aside from the creation of arbitrary borders, this fragmentation has also been imposed through the identity cards that Palestinians carry. These ID cards further separate Palestinians from each other by labeling them as a “West Banker”, “Jerusalemite”, “Israeli citizen” or “American citizen”, “Gazan”, rather than allowing us our collective identity as Palestinians. I was also interested in exploring that fact that these various “labels” also give each individual different rights and privileges depending on what their ID is. In like twenty impossibles’, a group of Palestinian filmmakers begin their journey by making a film together and working as any ordinary film crew would – with a director, an actor, cinematographer, soundperson, etc. By the end of the film, because of these realities, a totally different situation exists.

all images by Annemarie Jacir and are stills from her film
Like Twenty Impossibles.
Learn more about her films here.

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