Description of Work
(Sa)Mira is a portrait of a young Palestinian woman named Samira, who recounts the discrimination she’s encountered in Jerusalem, which left her feeling humiliated and displaced within her birth country. In the video, the camera is directed at Samira, the artist Dor Guez’s cousin who is named after their grandmother; she sits relaxed on a soft couch, and gently prompted by Guez, she portrays her innermost self through the subtle mannerisms of her body language. As the conversation between her and Guez unfolds, it reveals the hidden entanglements within everyday routines that come from being a Palestinian woman who is a citizen of Israel. They speak to each other in Hebrew within a domestic interior, intimately exposing the vulnerability of living between multiple cultures and reflecting internalized biases. (Sa)Mira unravels complex identities within Israel and Palestine by questioning what it means to feel both Israeli and Arab in a Jewish state.
Dor Guez is an artist and a scholar who splits his time between Jaffa and New York. He was born in Jerusalem to a Palestinian family on his mother’s side and a family of Jewish immigrants from Tunisia on his father’s. Guez’s photographs, video, essays, and lecture-performances explore the relationship between art, narrative, and memory. Interrogating personal experiences and official accounts of the past, Guez raises questions about contemporary art’s role in narrating unwritten histories and re-contextualizing visual and written documents. His studies and artistic work focus on archival materials and photographic practices in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as mapping traces and structures of violence in the landscape. Guez received his PhD from Tel Aviv University in 2014 and earned his professorship from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2018. He is the founder of the CPA (Christian-Palestinian Archive), the head of the Master of Fine Arts program at Bezalel, and the co-director of Seaport: Mediterranean Curatorial Residency.