Al Hoash, a Palestinian art organization based in Jerusalem, announces the initiation of work on Otherwise Occupied for the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013. The exhibition is curated by Bruce Ferguson with Rawan Sharaf and features two Palestinian artists: Bashir Makhoul and Aissa Deebi.

Aissa Deebi & Bashir Makhoul
Otherwise Occupied
29 May–30 June 2013

Venice Biennale 2013
55th International Art Exhibition

Palestine has been occupied for so long it is no longer a spatio-temporal entity but a construction of the imaginary: a national designation that includes a far-flung diaspora, a huge population of refugees, as well as members of an indeterminate territorial authority under occupation and even a large number of Israeli citizens. There exist simultaneously no Palestinian state and many Palestinian states. It is the quintessence of Benedict Anderson’s classic formulation of nationhood as ‘imagined communities.’

Both artists, Makhoul and Deebi, were originally born inside the 1948 borders, in the margins of another state in their homeland and outside the occupied West Bank and the centres of contemporary Palestinian culture, and have immigrated to live elsewhere. In order to get closer to Palestine, to engage in new ways of thinking or imagining the nation, it is perhaps necessary to live at a distance from it.

Al Hoash is a Jerusalem based nonprofit Palestinian organization that seeks the development and elevation of the status of visual arts as a substantial and critical tool for communication, innovation, pleasure, free expression and national pride. Its work is based on the belief that the visual arts play a vital role in promoting the welfare, development and independent creative spirit of all people.

Al Hoash’s mission is toprovide and sustain a knowledge-based platform for Palestinians to express, explore, realize and strengthen their national and cultural identity through visual practice. Visual culture can be utilized to analyze, research and explore the formation and transformation of our collective and individual memory in the process of producing identity.

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