Bashir Makhoul
Enter Ghost, Exit Ghost
Exhibition 2012

Otherwise Occupiedis

The project raises questions about the kinds of spaces that have emerged in sites of conflict and in the urban margins of globalization. Central to the project is the idea of ‘spectral space’ as spaces that are created between the virtual and the real such as mock cities built for training in urban warfare, the spectral, parallel world of surveillance, CAD inspired urban developments and the interactions and confusions between the virtual and the real in the urbanization of global capitalism and conflict.

The large-scale installation has two components; a full-sized, interior maze and a large cardboard model of an Arab town or refugee camp. The walls of the maze are clad in lenticular micro-lens panels depicting photographs of walls, windows, doors and various architectural details and streets in East Jerusalem, Hebron and some of the larger Palestinian refugee camps. This lenticular panel allows the images to be visible and interchangeable by movement. The slightest movement within the maze of this installation is enough to transform and relocate your surroundings completely; it pushes on the limits of the relationship between movement and narrative.

At the end of the maze there is a large open space revealing a model consisting of hundreds of cardboard boxes apparently stacked randomly against the gallery walls and around the floor. Windows and doors have been cut into the boxes to create rudimentary model houses. Enter Ghost, Exit Ghost offers us a compelling illusion within an illusion; an installation which asks its occupants how we are figured within the fundamental ambiguities of the spectral spaces of occupation and the political rhetoric of security and defense used to justify them, along with the control and suppression of civil life and human rights they bring about. The installation plays with our ambivalent relationship with these kinds of spaces in which the pleasures and thrill of the maze are partly depend upon disorientation and fear.

The work confronts issues of social, political and geographical displacement in a non-confrontational but insistent way. Enter Ghost, Exit Ghost questions what type of spaces are these and what can they tell us about our relationship to power and technology in the spaces we are compelled to enter and exit in our neo-colonial age of global late-capitalism.

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