Epigenetics is Nira Pereg’s first solo exhibition in Istanbul. The exhibition presents Pereg’s seminal video works Ishmael, Abraham Abraham Sarah Sarah, and features the premier of Ēsáv, the third and final video that is part of this trilogy. All three videos take place in the Cave of the Patriarchs, a series of subterranean chambers located in the old city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), the largest city in the occupied West Bank.
Pereg’s new video, Ēsáv, is based on a postcard from 1977 published by a Jewish gift shop near the Cave of the Patriarchs. The postcard depicts the entrance sign of the Jewish gift shop with a Palestinian man and a camel by his side. On the description on the back of the postcard, there is no mention of the Palestinian depicted. Ēsáv explores conflicting narratives presented in the postcard, and echoes the biblical story of the burial exemption of Ēsáv, the grandson of Abraham and Sarah. Rooted in documentary practice and aesthetics, Pereg will retrace both the postcard’s history and attempt to give a name and character to the anonymous Palestinian depicted in it.