Zones of Contention: After the Green Line
Weatherspoon Art Museum
Greensboro, NC
February 7–May 3, 2015


Links: Exhibition Webpage

Zones of Contention: After the Green Line, opened in the spring of 2015 at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. This exhibition examined historical and contemporary aspects of the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine. Through photography, video, collage and sculpture, the exhibition addressed some of the complexities of social, personal and cultural life in this region of the world. Artists who participated in the exhibition include Francis Alÿs (Belgium/Mexico), Yael Bartana (Israel), Dor Guez (Jaffa), Wafa Hourani (Palestine), Nira Pereg (Israel), Michael Rakowitz (USA), and Sharif Waked (Palestine/Israel).

The exhibition was the second in a series of curatorial projects organized by Artis Research Trip alumna, Xandra Eden, that demonstrated ways by which contemporary art and artists can create a platform to discuss circumstances around the globe and their impact upon local and regional communities. The first Zones project, which took place in 2012, focused on artists and community members who explored issues related to the U.S./Mexico border. After the Green Line was similarly inspired, and through its public programs, examined the significance of the issues addressed by the artists to the local community. After the Green Line focused on the effects and consequences of this long conflict upon everyday life.

Artworks included Francis Alys’s SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC (2007), a video in which the artist carries a dripping can of green paint along the Green Line, the armistice boundary marked on a map in 1949 to end the Arab-Israeli War; Yael Bartana’s A Declaration (2006), which examines the changing symbolism of the olive tree within the current context; and Dor Guez’s (Sa)Mira (2009), which grapples with the discrimination felt by some Israeli citizens of Arab descent. Wafa Hourani’s Pan of Qalandia (2014) imagines a section of the largest checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, while Nira Pereg’s Sabbath (2008) documents the closing off of ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in and around Jerusalem on the eve of Shabbat. Other works included Michael Rakowitz’s multi-media installation, The Breakup (2012), which conflates the break-up of the Beatles in London with the breakdown of Middle Eastern relations that led to the Six Days War in 1967; and Sharif Waked’s video, Bath Time (2012), which uses humor to point to the many absurd situations spawned by the ongoing conflict.