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Through his 1st institutional solo exhibition in UAE, Temporary Museum. For Palestine, Hazem Harb attempts to capture the lost legacies of the his home country Palestine in the form of archival materials being displayed in vitrine cases within a museological context. Using collage-based techniques that incorporate photography and mixed media on a grand scale, the artist pieces together a temporary museum that showcases the fragmentariness of Palestine’s history.

Hazem Harb, Temporary Museum. For Palestine. installation view. Courtesy of Tabari Artspace
Hazem Harb, Temporary Museum. For Palestine. installation view. Courtesy of Tabari Artspace

Harb has been collecting rare antique memorabilia of the history of Palestine on international online auctions in the past year. His findings date as far back as to 1779, and among his acquisitions are ancient maps of Palestine and Phoenicia, books of historical trade routes, family photographs and even artworks depicting the Holy Land by Orientalist painters such as David Roberts, 1796 – 1864, a contemporary of J.M.W. Turner. Placed in an installation-based exhibition setting, Hazem Harb invites the viewer to reflect on Palestine’s history with the hope of establishing a permanent museum of his possessions for everybody to access in future.

Hazem Harb, Temporary Museum. For Palestine. installation view. Courtesy of Tabari Artspace
Hazem Harb, Temporary Museum. For Palestine. installation view. Courtesy of Tabari Artspace

Conceived as an immersive exhibition experience, the show displays enlarged historical black and white photographs of the Holy Land as backdrops for visitors to step inside, as if walking within three-dimensional remnants of a past history. Among them, existing works by Harb are placed in dialogue with a new large-scale installation made from olive oil containers, thereby showing the importance of Palestine’s natural resources. Touching upon themes like diaspora, the practice of archiving and a nostalgic yearning for lost histories, this exhibition presents the artist’s deep reflection on his roots between past, present and future.

Hazem Harb, Temporary Museum. For Palestine. installation view. Courtesy of Tabari Artspace
Hazem Harb, Temporary Museum. For Palestine. installation view. Courtesy of Tabari Artspace

The exhibition is curated by Cima Azzam and on view at Maraya Art Centre, Al Qasba, Sharjah until the 10th of February, 2022.

On selected Saturdays and Mondays between November and February, Tabari Artspace invites you to book a private curatorial tour with Cima Azzam and the artist Hazem Harb.

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