DAI warmly congratulates Vivian Ziherl with her appointment as the curator of the Jerusalem Show 2016 by the Al Ma’mal Foundation

14.03.16 | tag: Jerusalem

Al Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art is proud to announce Vivian Ziherl as the curator of the Jerusalem Show 2016 opening for its eighth edition Before and After Origins in October as part of the Palestinian biennial Qalandiya International. The announcement takes place following a work-week with artists visiting Jerusalem from the Netherlands and South Africa to undertake research together with artists from Palestine and the Golan Heights.

Ziherl will undertake the Jerusalem Show (October 6–22, 2016) as a part of the project Frontier Imaginaries. The roaming art platform launches in Brisbane (Australia) in May 2016 at the IMA and the QUT Art Museum, and the Jerusalem Show will be its second edition. 

In 2016, Qalandiya International proposes the theme of "return," expressed in the title borrowed from poet Mahmoud Darwish, This Sea is Mine. To this topic Ziherl responds with the exhibition and assembly Before and After Origins.

Ziherl says: "The exhibition will be based upon a conversation. The artists have been invited because their work brings them into dialogue with the question of return as it stands at this political and economic moment. The invitation is not to make work about Palestine but to learn and to discuss about coloniality, and role of culture in its overcoming."

Director of Al Ma'mal Jack Persekian says"We are delighted to have Vivian as the curator of the Jerusalem Show this year. As a curator from Australia, living in the Netherlands, she brings to the table a framework of the settler colony and its European roots. This is an important dimension to bring to Qalandiya International and the question of return. We are very impressed with Vivian's energy and her grounded approach. We look forward to her contributions, and to the team of artists that she will engage."

The Jerusalem Show will be held across two venues: the former tile factory of "Al Ma'mal" in the old city of Jerusalem and the Youth Center of the Shuafat Refugee Camp (4 km north of the old city) which houses a population of over 50 thousand Palestinian refugees and is surrounded by the Separation Wall. Each venue proposes a case-study before and after the Nakba, the watershed event that led to the displacement and dispossession of over 60% of the Palestinian population in 1948. 

The Jerusalem Show will include over a dozen artists, such as Tom Nicholson who is examining a Byzantine mosaic that was removed from the Naqab desert by Australian soldiers in 1917 and embedded into the Australian War Memorial. 

The work-week, supported by the Mondriaan Fund, included two residents of the Shuafat Refugee Camp—the painter and sculptor Jawad al Malhi and hip-hop artist and producer Muhammad Mughrabi—as well as Dutch video artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Rwandan-born Dutch artist Christian Nyampeta, and co-founder of the Johannesburg art-space NGO or Nothing Gets Organised, Sinethemba Twalo. A visit was made by the group to the Golan village of Majdal Shams, meeting with artists Aiman Halabi, Randa Mdah and Shada Safadi as well as poet and assyriologist Yasser Khanjer. Decolonising Art Architechture Residency also hosted a visit to the Concrete Tent in Daheisha Camp.