Pattern Recognition
Opening Date: October 8th, 2016
October 9 – October 31, 2016
Opening hours: daily from 10:00 – 18:00 except Fridays
Venue: Dar al Sa’a, Ramallah, Palestine

Artists: Noor Abed, Abdallah Awwad, Asma Ghanem, Inas Halabi, Aya Kirresh, Majd Masri, Majdal Nateel, Ruba Salameh, Somar Sallam

Curator: Nat Muller

Pattern Recognition brings together newly commissioned work from the nine artists shortlisted for the 2016 edition of the Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA 2016). The Award is open to Palestinian artists under the age of 30 and is organised every two years by the A.M Qattan Foundation. The projects in the exhibition (curated by Nat Muller) explore how strategies of repetition open up avenues for critically rethinking issues of time, place, memory and authenticity. Straddling the grey zones between fact and fiction, original and copy, ruin and repair, the works re-imagine the mechanics of representation in the context of Palestine, where geographies, histories and identities are fragmented.

Many of the works focus on how cycles of production are disturbed by forces that make things come undone. This continuous tension between creation and its unravelling functions as a metaphor for the Palestinian condition and as a conduit for the discussion of the complexities of the diverse Palestinian realities these artists live and work in. It is from this reproduction and repetition of certain patterns that the artists reach out to the past and the future and trace a temporal lineage. Repetition becomes a way to traverse different eras, as well as an emancipatory tool for articulating an imaginary. This comes to the fore in the way the artists have edited their sound and video pieces, composed narrative structures, and used imagery and material.

The works range from the very personal, such as Inas Halabi’s video recording of a family history that is retold again and again, to the cool scientific forensics of Noor Abed’s speculative sci-fi mystery. Witnessing and truth, these works suggests, are in the eye of the beholder. Bringing different timelines together, Aya Kirresh investigates the history of cement in Palestinian construction through a series of sculptural experiments, while Majd Masri traces how one iconographic image travels in different guises through Palestinian art history. Ruba Salameh unites the many impossibilities of Palestinian geography through nautical symbolism in her video work. Others base their work on the convergence of construction and deconstruction, beginnings and endings. Majdal Nateel offers an accumulation of shattered dreams in her sculptural pillow installation. This resonates with Abdallah Awwad’s wounded objects fashioned out of construction materials, with Somar Sallam’s looped video of a quilt being crocheted and then pulled apart again, and with Asma Ghanem’s mesmerising sound piece based on the sounds of war.

The exhibition takes place in Dar al Saa, a traditional house in the centre of Ramallah that was built in 1910 and restored two years ago.