Coming to Say
Coming to Say is an exhibition that brings together artists Sigalit Landau and Manar Zuabi, with four young Arab female artists who are also the speakers in Landau's new sound installation. She talks with them about reality, their dreams and hopes for the future, as artists in Israel. In a colorful world, with a kitchen of the past, a stovetop sounds the conversations of elderly Jewish women, looking back on their lives. All the voices together tell of personal moments, past and present, drawing a larger story. These voices find Manar Zuabi as she creates a white-grayish world, carved and bubbly, located somewhere between destruction and fiction, between the historical and the contemporary. Her identity as an artist, as a Palestinian and as a woman charge the social and political voices that she sounds, as she brings a voice of deep human range.
Shams Hawwari Zoabi uses common
detergents to paint states of mind, wounds and memories on large canvases as
acts of cleaning and purification; Morjan
Ghanayem attempts to
capture transformation using clay, wire and light to create processes of
transition with a potential for healing; Laila Abd Elrazaq creates her own
language in a video installation with monologues addressing the audience, and Dalleh Tarabey builds a tour of
locations on one screen.
Each of the
six separately, and all of them together, reveal open wounds and seek the
horizon that is becoming more difficult to see; they connect the sounds of the body and
the soul, trauma and healing, and a society in crisis and its individual
members. They understand very
well the forces of separation that are at work now, and remind us that any
imagined future begins with recognizing the wound, agreeing to feel and being
ready to speak.
Sigalit and Manar
Landau and Zuabi, two major artists, meet here
in one space and beyond. Each one creates a world; both leave traces of power
and a resounding statement, based on the desire to repair, as they carve and
pour, build and reveal. Each one goes
through pain, from her origins, up to the present and on into the future. Their
art spaces produce sounds that are pillars of the exhibition, where the weight
of the words is similar to the weight of the material. The sound, the voices and the written words
are essential material that meets physical material; the same is true for Dalleh
and Laila. You can walk among the words; let them come to life, play and
'Let your Voice be Heard' holds within it a
period of eleven years. In her installation and sound work, Landau reconstructs
an old local kitchen from the 1950s in Israel, with a stove that sounds the
mixed voices of women looking at personal moments in their lives in the light
of historical moments in the development of the State of Israel and the Jewish
settlement in the country (2012).
she talks with four more women, artists, young, Arab, Palestinian in
conversations recorded in September 2023. Shams, Morjan, Laila and Dalleh are
at this time experiencing both our common destiny here as citizens of this
country and the hardships of the Arab society and their own difficulties within
it, as a society within a society; A society, which is no longer willing to
remain transparent, without color and character in the eyes of the country that
it forms part of.
personal conversations also embrace the cultural and historical layers of the
Palestinian people, including those in Gaza and the territories.
They received an honest invitation and when
they accepted it, they plunged into an encounter with an artist who has a
magnificent body of work, at the height of her artistic activity, asking questions
about their lives: the reality into which they were born, their present and their
dreams of the future as artists, women, Palestinians, in Israel; as the young
generation that grows up here without a horizon. Do we all share this
nonexistent horizon, or would we rather wish for a horizon that we could all actually
see? The conversations were edited as monologues, addressing Landau's questions
about food, love, songs, names and art.
'October 23', a bronze cast of a woman and
child on a deathly ground, expresses the urgency and shock of the situation,
where everything is still happening. 'There for Good' is a new video work, in
which a woman walks on bloody ground, on the border of a white crust, in
circles, timeless. When will she stop walking? When does her march become ours?
When will this struggle give birth to something new and embody its potential
Manar travels between places while acting from within them.
Here she excavates a memory of a place in the walls of the gallery, the walls
of a British building of a colony that used to be here; in them, she engraves
and carves untold stories, Palestinian historical memories, of living places
that used to be and were lost. They are reimagined as a future memory.
Traces of her working body, accustomed to pain, remain in
the space, beckoning to the figure of Saraya, who appears and exits on a screen
from the wall beyond.
A single table holds a small coffee pot filled with a
dark liquid, the black color of the basic line in art or of hot Arabic coffee,
boiling. Cups have been drunk and left by those who drank them who are no
longer there, waiting to come back to life with them.
She also infiltrates the thin border between reality and
imagination in her video work 'Saraya', in which she brings into the space
walls from other places where she worked (Haifa, Beit Hagefen). The character
of Saraya, who preserves the historical Palestinian memory, was created by the
writer Emile Habibi. In Manar's work, she emerges, appears and disappears,
comes out of the wall but carries with her the hole in it, in her stomach. The
sound waves of the sea, waves of memory and forgetting, imagination and reality,
accompany her. In the same way, she revives in Jerusalem Edward Said the child,
whose mother calls him to come back home; to the home he was can no longer
return. Manar wanders between Nazareth, Haifa and Jerusalem and brings them all
here, to Givat Haviva. Could a human shared existence based on the amendment
and sanctification of life be possible here?
Shams, born in Nazareth in 1990, graduated with a
master's degree in art from Oranim College in 2023, and has been exhibiting for
Her black goat is a symbol of the Palestinian people's
natural presence here. The Jewish community that perceived the black goat as a
pest, sought to replace it with the European white goat. This is how the black
goat population has been reduced over the years. Only six years ago, in 2017,
the law defining it as an environmentally harmful species was repealed. Shams
creates it repeatedly in infinite ways. Here the goat appears as a black
silhouette and drawn on a wet wipe.
There are also female figures, strong, survivors, such as
the figure of her grandmother painted with bleach on a black lining fabric.
This work was created twice, once in its first layer, when she painted her
grandmother, and once again during the last two months between August 2023 and after
The need for women in a traumatic society to survive and
be strong is a source of strength, but also the other way around - their
strength is crucial for survival. This need leaves its mark, and in her works
'Heart in Knees' and 'Untitled', Shams paints-cleans the wounds of the soul and
their effect on the body in traumatic situations, personal but also affecting
general society. One could wonder, what is the emotional body of society? She
moves in circles between society as a whole and the most individual, in a very
sensual way, with the fluids and materials of everyday life, which she uses for
erasure and appearance. Through erasure, she creates an appearance, through
concealment she reveals.
in 1996 in the village of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, near Givat Haviva, graduated with
a master's degree in art from the University of Haifa in 2023. She seeks to
articulate internal forms and processes, processes of transition that she
insists on capturing.
are placed statically with airy images moving between them, perhaps of the same
shells, perhaps of new states of matter. With sensitivity, she traces the inconceivable
glimmers of a mental process. She sculpts in light as she sculpts in material.
She lingers, finally allowing movement, which brings the possibility of
Lila, born in
Nof HaGalil (Formerly Nazareth Illit) in 1999, graduated with a master's degree
in art from the University of Haifa in 2023. On one wall, she creates a dense
environment with her handwriting, repeating one word in a coded language, one
that is known only to some of the young people in Arab society and means "I
am a traitor". She speaks to the audience in two blunt and intimate
monologues. The voice of the society around is also her inner voice. Through
her personal story and her interest in language, she asks questions about the
power of society over the individual and what defines belonging. Laila writes and speaks mostly in English,
where she feels at home. That is why in Landau's work you will hear her speak
in Hebrew and English, and not in Arabic. Laila criticizes the lack of
readiness for diversity in society, which is expressed, among other things, in
the price it charges for not cooperating with its unwritten rules.
Dalleh, born in 1996, also graduated with a master's
degree in art from the University of Haifa in 2023. She is originally from the
city of Shefa-Amr (Shfar'am).
She takes us on a tour of five locations that change
before our eyes. In all of them, she appears dressed in black, lying down,
almost motionless. She puts into our hands the booklet of the stories,
personal-family stories immersed in the history of the city and its
surroundings. Feelings of closeness and alienation accompany the "tour"
of the place where she was born, of its ancient incarnations, of today's
reality. That reality includes the violence that has taken place in the city in
recent years as part of the waves of murder in Arab society in the country.
Where will this place go? In her untitled works, there are two figures, or a
figure and a remnant, hanging by a thread. They are made of raw materials that
have been kneaded into something new, but appearing old and abandoned, looking
at us without seeing.
Anat Lidror, curator