Bashir Makhoul
Exhibition 1999


hold is an exhibition of three new installations by Bashir Makhoul. The exhibition is a Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery commission designed to support innovative artistic practice generated by artists based in this region. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Leeds Metropolitan university Gallery and Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool. The commission has been supported financially by the Arts Council of England’s national Touring Exhibitions Award Scheme. Additional support has been provided by North West Arts Board Film and video Exhibition projects and Developments Fund. hold is also an international project which will travel to the Herzliya Museum of Modern Art in Israel.

I first saw Bashir’s work in 1993 in the exhibition Al-hejara at Huddersfield Art Gallery. This was a display of bold and colourful paintings on a large scale. The paintings were intriguing and challenging in terms of their aesthetic and meaning. Symbiosis, at Mid Pennine Gallery in 1998, revealed a significant shift in his practice and represented a sustained and rapid development of ideas and imagery. He was now working in video and installation and a more personal dialogue had emerged. The history of Bashir’s exhibition practice is significant because it is one of constant exploration of personal and political themes and artistic experimentation. hold carries forward many of the themes of earlier work and explores and embraces new media in two video installations – thirst and who the fuck are you? - and the digital photographic series who’s who. hold, an exhibition whose title suggests certainty and security of possession, is dedicated to questioning fixed notions of identity and belonging. I am grateful to Lewis Biggs and Sean Cubbitt whose catalogue essays place the work in context and provide imaginative readings of Bashir’s work.

Claire Slattery

Leeds Metropolitan University

June 1999

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