Alaa Abu Asad
An old, ill Palestinian refugee in Damascus hankers to visit his hometown in Palestine before he dies. Thus, the worried sons manage to deceive the obsessed father by driving him to a place, nearby the city of Damascus, overlooking a village similar to the one in Palestine. There, they stand and say to him: “here is our village, over there. But we cannot move closer and enter it, as it is occupied by the Israelis now.” The old man believes his sons and a few days later he passes away.
"Based on the autobiography of the Palestinian writer Faisal Hourani (b*1939). The work tries to challenge both the image and the viewer. This is done through a display of found photographs (mostly from Aarau in Switzerland and the region around) and others from my private archive, plus assorted videos. Via the visual juxtapositions, I try to approach the archive as a non-independent complex of several values: historical, social, societal, political, material, documentary and most important the visual value. I also wonder where the archival documents/photographs sit regarding the archivist or the body/authority that owns the archive. Furthermore, I try to re-image the image through different acts, such as: cropping, retouching, changing, etc. These different acts come to dispute the viewer’s ways of seeing/watching images and the ways s/he experiences them - that is to say, I take the photographic act apart in order to test the relation between the witness and the document/image.
Formally, this work is about what we (the viewers) see and what we are told to see, and, at the end, to challenge the viewer’s “naked eye” of seeing and watching."
-Alaa Abu Asad (2015)
Alaa Abu Asad is a Palestinian photographer. He studied at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and has exhibited locally and internationally including events in Ramallah, Limassol, Brussels, Beirut, Cairo, and Aarau. Abu Asad's work can be viewed here.