Jawad Al Malhi’s work includes painting, photography, video and site-specific work and is preoccupied with the experience of marginalized communities and their relationship to space. Exhibited across two venues in London (Delfina Foundation and The Mosaic Rooms), his New Works seek to produce alternative representations of Jerusalem, a city whose iconography has been exhausted by tourists and journalists alike.
Combining photography and video and taking archetypal, panoramic sightseeing vistas of Jerusalem as a starting point, Malhi’s large views of the city were held in slowly disintegrating ice. The frozen panels that were exhibited at Delfina Foundation commented on the stagnant present of a city that once was a centre of cosmopolitan life. They captured Jerusalem’s remaining arteries of life and explored the contrast between the old city and life in the confines of near-by refugee camps.
Jawad al Malhi is a long time resident of Jerusalem. His New Works are intimately connected with his personal memories and evolve from a return to the sites of his childhood. He observes the cacophony of “voice-overs” that are projected onto the occupied city and highlight its somber reality. Caught between a construction ban and accumulating graveyards, Jerusalem gradually collapses under stratums of ideals, ideologies and mortality.
The works on show at The Mosaic Rooms pursue Jawad al Malhi’s exploration of marginal spaces. Since 2007, he has been documenting life in the refugee camps around Jerusalem, nights and days, across the seasons. The resulting body of work highlights the rapid transformation of the landscape prompted by the necessity to accommodate a growing Palestinian refugee population. The panoramic images act as testimonies of dislocation and document, at the margins of Jerusalem, a precarious daily life, paced by immobility and the monotonous potency of waiting.
Exhibition Tour: Wednesday 16 June, 18:30, at The Mosaic Rooms. Led by Jawad al Malhi.
Artist talk: Tuesday 29 June, 18:30, at Delfina Foundation. Jawad al Malhi in conversation with Dr. Tina Sherwell (International Academy of Art, Palestine).
Jawad al Malhi was born in Jerusalem in 1969 and lives and works on the border of Shufat refugee camp. He received his MA in Fine Art from the Winchester School of Art, UK. In 2009, he was short-listed for the Frieze Foundation Cartier Award. Recent exhibitions include In the Middle of the Middle (curated by Catherine David at Sfeir-Semier Gallery, Beirut), No Man’s Land? (Gemak, The Hague), the Sharjah Biennal 09 and Palestine c/o Venice(Curated by Salwa Mikdadi, Venice Biennale, 2009). He is nominated for this year’s Prix Pictet and will be showing in Ground Floor America (curated by WHW) at Den Frie in Copenhagen.