A concise but revealing show that mixes the work of artists from Palestine and its diaspora.
Palestinians’ artistic voices have grown ever stronger in the French capital in recent years, from Mona Hatoum’s show at the Centre Pompidou to Ahlam Shibli’s photographs at the Jeu de Paume. The Institut du Monde Arabe’s new exhibition of Palestinian artists is concise, focusing on just four, but succeeds in presenting a coherent selection of works on the theme of territory and identity. Ramallah resident Khaled Jarrar’s work punches a hole in a wall shaped like ‘historic’ Palestine, an empty space that is the absence of a state, through which videos are projected that portray the impossible relationships created by the innumerable borders that criss-cross Palestinians’ lives. The other three artists come from the Palestinian diaspora, drawing on a perspective that is as much biographical and imagined as lived, sometimes with a slightly ironic distance from the political situation. Larissa Sansour’s short film, for example, imagines the Palestinian state as an enormous skyscraper, with different symbolic locations located on each floor.