Lalla Essaydi (MA/USA), Laura El-Tantawy (EG), Gohar Dashti (IR), Tanya Habjouqa (JO/PS), Pavel Wolberg (USSR/IL)
Tampere Art Museum | 2014
Shared Reality presents works from five invited artists focusing on forces and ties holding societies, communities, families and friends together and apart in the wider Middle East area.
Laura El-Tantawy’s series In the Shadow of the Pyramids documents current development and challenges in post- Mubarak Egypt while Jordanian artist Tanya Habjouqa sensitively raises up the subject of occupation and oppression in her current home region East Jerusalem in Palestine with her series Occupied Pleasures.
Her series shows up the pleasures existing despite the occupation, pleasure of having access to the sea, doing yoga on the mountains and going on picnics with family and friends. Still, tension follows the inventiness one needs to develop for daily routines while living in Occupied West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza.
Pavel Wolbergs series Masquerade and Memories from War in the Holy Land reveal tight parallel communities in Israel lives, rarely seen in the newsfeed. Wolberg’s intimate sights on ultraorthodox Hassidic Jews communities in their weddings, funerals and Jewish mitzvah show a strong tradition and further more how individuals and traditions are viewed by the religious community itself. With the same non-hierarchic approach Wolberg places himself into seams between act and identities when documenting Christian pilgrims, male and female soldiers, partying gay-people and punks.
Gohar Dashti builds up moments that reference the ongoing duality of life and war in her home country, Iran, without precluding hope. In the fictionalized battlefields in Todays Life and War she shows a couple in a series of everyday activities. Though they do not visibly express emotions, the man and woman embody the power of perseverance, determination, and survival. In Iran, Untitled, there is a spatial unity that itself makes the possibility of developing the narration and the very title of series that discloses a meta-narrative, yet here the place is no longer a place but a non-place.
Lalla Essaydi’s two series Converging Territories and Les Femmes du Maroc concretely rewrite and expand the spaces and edges of women, both physical and mental, private and public.