Heimat, exhibition view, documenta 14,
Photo: Michael Nast
The notion of home
The work of the artist Ahlam Shibli can be considered a testimony to the presence and absence of home. Each series of work encapsulates knowledge obtained through an empirical contact with conflict. Her work realised in Palestine exhibits an accumulation of signs that reveal the effects of the Israeli rule over Palestine and the Palestinians. Her work in various different places, on the other hand, confronts the nature of colonialism and occupation and the relentless search for the diverse meanings of home. The conversation will focus on the work Occupation (2016/17).
Grace Samboh is interested in the many disciplines that Ahlam Shibli studied yet continuously works with photographs.
Ahlam Shibli was born in Palestine in 1970. Through a documentary aesthetic, her photographic work addresses the contradictory implications of the notion of home. It deals with the loss of home and the fight against that loss, but also with restrictions and limitations that the idea of home imposes on individuals and communities marked by repressive identity politics.
Solo exhibitions 2017Staring (web commission), Remai Modern, Saskatoon (CA). 2013Phantom Home, MACBA, Barcelona (ES), Jeu de Paume, Paris; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto (PT). 2010Ahlam Shibli: Trauma, Château de Sédières, Clergoux (FR). Ahlam Shibli: Why did you leave the forest empty!, Darat al Funun, Amman. 2009Ahlam Shibli: Wydomowienie, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw.
Group exhibitions 2017 documenta14, Athens & Kassel (DE). Field Guide, Remai Modern, Saskatoon (CA). The Photographic I, S.M.A.K. Ghent (BE). 2015la terre nous est etroite, regards croisés sur la palestine, Le 19 CRAC, Montbéliard (FR). Formes biographiques, Carré d’Art, Nîmes (FR). Uncovering History, Camera Austria, Graz (AT). 2014Progress and Hygiene, Zachęta, Warsaw. We are Living on a Star, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden (NO).
Ulrich Loock (ed.): Ahlam Shibli: Dependence, Ediciones Originales, Barcelona 2013. Ahlam Shibli: Phantom Home, exh. cat., Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Jeu de Paume, Paris, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2013. Ahlam Shibli: Go there, Eat the mountain, Write the past, exh. cat., Darat al Funun – The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman 2011. Ahlam Shibli: Trauma, exh. cat., Peuple et Culture Corrèze, Tulle 2010.
Adam Szymczyk (ed.): Ahlam Shibli: Trackers, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Basel, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2007.