Through photography, video, collage, and sculpture, “Zones of Contention: After the Green Line” addressed some of the complexities of social, personal, and cultural life in Israel and Palestine. The exhibition was the second in a series of curatorial projects organized by Artis Curatorial Seminar alum 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 US/Mexico border.
Artworks on view 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 multimedia 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.