Bashir Makhoul
Dust and dispute
Exhibition 2008
Dust and dispute

Featuring artists Bashir Makhoul, Oded Shimshon, and Aissa Deebi, the exhibition strives to take them on a common journey back to the realms of their psyche and soul – to their home, childhood and family, homeland. A highly charged territory, it is therefore no wonder that the title selected for the exhibition is “Avak & Ma’avak” – Dust and Dispute.

All three artists were born and raised in the Galilee, where they also worked as artists, and where they return to after a long absence in another piece of land. There they have found a retreat for their soul and art, and set up a home, leaving their childhood memories, their homeland and youth behind, in the precipitous, tangled, flowering Galilee. The naïve scenery of their childhood and the primeval sights of the Galilee mountains and the ancient olive trees have since become emotionally, politically and ideologically charged.

The question arises, why an exhibition addressing a beautiful and inspiring theme such as the landscape, an exhibition that sets out to present the landscape as an idyll of harmony, was given a title combining two such notions as “dust” and “struggle/dispute”. The artists’ physical distance from their childhood realms naturally intensifies their affinity with and organic integration in the landscape left behind, which was deeply etched in their personal memory. Their return to this landscape signifies an attempt to get in touch with and reconstitute their identity which has suffered many upheavals and crises as a result of those wanderings.

Does the “dust” indicate the calming of the storm or only its beginning? Does the “struggle” refer to the storm that passed, the one still taking place, or the one to come, or is it possibly a storm that began and continues, gaining momentum and force? Where did the storm begin? Was it in their place of exile, foreignness and alienation, or rather in their childhood realm where home, family and identity reside. The physical distance generates yearnings, which, in turn, produce the emotional bonding, providing an opportunity for introspection through observation of the childhood vistas.

The exhibition “Avak & Ma’avak” enables us to relate to the participating artists and try, with them and through their inspiration, to observe, from a different point of view and a broader, more comprehensive perspective, that which would have otherwise remained invisible to us.

Said Abu-Shaqra

Director, Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery

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