The Jerusalem Show
Chapter 1: Intensities
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory)
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By definition, 'intensity' refers to the degree or amount of strength or force that something has. The perception of its velocity is based on the interpretations of ideas, of attention, duration, and correlations with other things or beings.
Deleuze considers intensity as a spatio-temporal dynamism and links it directly with the degree of differences. From this point of view, intensity has a connection not only with difference, but also with desire. By referring to music, he points out that intensity could be perceived at the level of 'the in-between'. Basically, in music intensity is the measurable acoustic counterpart of perceived loudness. Starting from this line of thought, the exhibition will focus on the different levels of intensity that can be detected and processed from the projects produced for the exhibition that link the observed and perceived intensities felt within Jerusalem. At the same time, the exhibition will examine the relationship between 'events' and their unsettled intensities.
The exhibition takes place at Al Ma'mal, located at the Tile Factory, which was originally founded in the old city of Jerusalem at the turn of the century and operated up to 1975, functioning as one of the two primary traditional tile-making factories in Palestine, and which was then transformed into a space for art and culture. The history of the building has been one of the anchors for the exhibition; it physically designates the starting point of the Jerusalem Show by housing works that deal directly with the city and the region.
The exhibition starts with a film: The Goodness Regime (2013), written and directed by Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle. The film, shot both in Norway and Palestine, probes into the foundations of ideology by intersecting different time sequences and conditions with one common denominator: The Oslo Peace Accords. The film, which employs a cast of children, re-enacts the adventures of Nobel Peace Prize winner Fridtjof Nansen – who aided displaced victims of World War I in the 1920s as a commissioner for the League of Nations – alongside a study into the political failure of the Oslo Accords in 1993, signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and facilitated by Norway as a peacemaker. The film brings different imaginaries, political visions, ideologies, histories and realities together to be perceived simultaneously.
The exhibition continues with Adel Abidin's installation Yesterday (2014). The work starts with the word 'yesterday' rendered in solid bronze and located on a wall in an isolated room. Then, it spreads all around the old city of Jerusalem with a subtle presence through a number of standing displays that repeat the word in white on white surfaces. It is a simple word, referring to countless time and memories.
Within the Tile Factory inhabits an extensive spatial installation, The Temporary Archive (prelude) (2014) by Benji Boyadgian. It is a part of an ongoing project titled The Temporary Ruin, in which the artist records the valley of Wadi el-Shami with watercolour paintings created in-situ. In the Tile Factory, he represents the topography of the valley with the walls and these paintings, which question the temporality of land in a broader sense, while evidencing the fragments of the traditional Palestinian landscape.
Pekka Niittyvirta's aerial photography series Obliquity (2014), which depicts Jerusalem by night, oscillates between a fictional setting and a fact-based document. These photographs interrupt our acknowledged imagery of Jerusalem, derived from well-known media images. In a similar manner, Bashar Alhroub's ink drawing Less Holiness (2014), which illustrates Jerusalem in details, swings between the touristic imagery of the city and a segregated zone with invisible barriers, thus creating a sense of dislocation between these two contradictory urban states.
In this sense, Hiraki Sawa's video work Dwelling (2002) further underlines the notion of dislocation with grainy black and white footage of miniature aircrafts flying around in an apartment setting, while Cevdet Erek's installation with drawings, words, and sound, Why can't I be there now? (2014), brings another twist. The intention of the work is to justify Erek's excuses for his absence in Jerusalem, based on fractures of time and space: multiple crossings of events, travels, and deadlines in his schedule.
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory) and the streets of the old city of Jerusalem
'Yesterday' is a word that I frequently hear from people in my region. 'Yesterday' always wins when they compare it to the current time.
Growing up in the Middle East and listening to conversations, reading books, or even poetry, I noticed that we always look to the past. The lack of vision to look forward, and the tendency to always compare the present with events from earlier periods keeps us attached to the past. In the Middle East during troubled times, people always tend to balance themselves with nostalgia or religion. The loss of hope and trust in politics leads to a personal loss of confidence in actions and choices: it's always easiest to lean on 'yesterday'.
My installation for the Jerusalem Show starts with a solid bronze object located in the building of the Al-Ma'mal Foundation. Then, it spreads all around the old city of Jerusalem, asserting itself with a subtle presence.
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in
Suddenly I'm not half the man I used to be
There's a shadow hanging over me
Oh, came suddenly.
Love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
I long for yesterday.
The song 'Yesterday' by The Beatles is not only a simple love song for Adel Abidin; it signifies the common regional obsession with living for and praising 'yesterday'. For Abidin, everybody from the region has been longing for the past, therefore the story of this site-specific installation starts from these three specific verses from a song about yesterday.
The installation starts in the building of the Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, a traditional handmade floor tiles factory founded in the old city of Jerusalem in 1900 and which operated up to 1975. From this building – which Abidin views as the heart of the project – the project spreads out around the old city of Jerusalem through panels which make and break links to the room which his work inhabits.
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory)
The stereotypical image of Jerusalem is being used as an icon everywhere. It is an image of history, reflections, harmony, beauty and sacredness. Beyond this image there is a reality of struggle and fragmentation. A history is being fabricated to deface the history of the city and conceal a war on the collective memory and on the details: a struggle underground and on the ground, just to prove that 'they' had been here. Every stone and corner, including the sacred, is threatened with takeover.
This struggle has turned the city into a disintegrating and fragile site, where visible and invisible barriers can be felt everywhere.
This work is a kind of dismantling of the stereotypical image as a reflection of what lies behind it.
The Temporary Archive
The Temporary Ruin
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory)
Meandering through Wadi el-Shami is like a journey in time in the midst of the complex and fragmented fabric of a 21st century 'Mega Jerusalem'. The valley is an eroded fragment of traditional Palestinian landscape, a clash of historical stratas. The contemporary city is gradually encroaching what is left of the valley and other (post)-rural territories, fracturing the territory. Scattered ruins of field houses from the Ottoman period, Qusurs or Manateers, seamlessly nestle in this terraced olive grove. They are the most visible ruins within the valley. Archived in the form of paintings, the layout of those ruins attempt to recreate the topography of traditional landscapes. The archive questions the notion of heritage, becomes a kind ironic act of preemptive archeology. The concept recreates a historical ecumene, focusing on the vernacular and the relationship to the territorialities. Created in-situ, the paintings attempt to share the experienced. The installation is like a timeless trip…
Discussing The Temporary Ruin
Benji Boyadgian in conversation with Basak Senova
While as physical structures doomed to reconstruction or demolition or slow deterioration, ruins quickly give us the impulse, if not the urge to preserve documents of them in photographs, video, or film, they nonetheless basically instance an architecture implicated with fiction. For while I can reach certain facets of reality, explore them without passing through fiction, or psychosis with its attendant hallucinations, this revealing these subjects as documentary ones even if they are shot in fiction films; I cannot do so with ruins. There has to be a relay between documentary and fiction whenever dealing with ruins-or else a documentary on ruins has to continue with interviews with or a section on psychotics. Fiction has to reveal to us the anomalous, labyrinthine space-time of ruins; and, in case no ruins subsist for the ghost to appear, to supplement reality as a site of return of the revenant.
Basak Senova: Where is Wadi el-Shami and why is it significant for you?
Benji Boyadgian: Wadi el-Shami is situated in the southern tip of the 1967 Jerusalem municipal boundary, beyond the green line, in annexed territory. It was trimmed from the Bethlehem district following the 1967 war and definitively cut off from its owners and users since the construction of the Wall. Surrounded by the heterogeneous patchwork that shapes the complex agglomeration of Jerusalem, it resembles and feels like a timeless place in the midst of contemporary territorial chaos. Despite being classified as a 'nature reserve' – a status used as a 'legal' means of expropriation – it looks more like a buffer zone between the newly built Jerusalem settlements/neighbourhood of Homat Sh'muel, aka Har Homa, and the Wall. Ironically, the nature reserve has long been used as an unofficial dumping ground, earning the Hebrew name Wadi ha Zevel (valley of garbage).
BS: So Wadi el-Shami is intriguing as a 'ruin' to conceal the 'experienced'. You have been observing this land for a long time, how do you re-define it through your observations and research?
BB: What remains of the valley is a glimpse into the vernacular landscape: a ruin lost in temporariness gradually encroached by permanence. Stone terraces grace the natural morphology, meandering along its topography lines; they are the dwellings of olive groves and some other species of trees. Ruined field houses blend in with the scenery, the dwellings fuse with the landscape, their stories remain inseparable. Older traces from other periods add to sediments of history. It's also a grazing area for some shepherds and sporadically, even some rare fauna appears. Sometimes wanderers hike there, and sometimes people just hang out, enjoying the nature. Shrinking day by day, the valley and its last inhabitants, the shepherds, are threatened by cultural and environmental entropy, and older traces from other periods add to sediments of history. Eroded by time, men and wars, Wadi el-Shami is like a palimpsest that reveals traces of the long and complex history of the land of Palestine and its anonymous dwellers.
BS: Could you give a specific example?
BB: The most noticeable remains in the valley date from the Ottoman period. Ruins of field houses, Qusur, are scattered around the valley, they seamlessly nestle into the landscape and are difficult to perceive from afar. Those different structures served as shelters, storage spaces and some also as watchtowers. They were used before and during harvest seasons by the villagers going on '3izebeh'. The word '3izebeh' means 'going to the field', taking care of the crop and relaxing; it used to be a common, democratized trait of Palestinian culture but is steadily vanishing, along with the Qusur.
BS: In this respect, the Qusur form the basis of this project?
BB: The Qusur is the starting point of the project because they are the most visible and latest patrimonies before modernism in this valley. The concept of this project is to archive the remaining Qusur in their temporality, as a form of preventive archeology in this menaced landscape. Documenting the architectonic aspect of the Qusur and the relationship to the territorialities. The ruins are framed in a way that does not reveal the contemporary landscape so much as it focuses on re-contextualizing the Qusur's relation to their context and environment.
BS: You choose to paint in-situ rather than document them through a camera. Could you elaborate on this decision?
BB: Painting in-situ permits me to capture the atmosphere of the moment, through a unique and subjective lens: the eye. It's also a way to grasp a place, perceive the abstract and feel the intangibles. Representational tools of pre-modern years are part of the concept, which mean to register the ruins in their historical temporality. Blurring time by using a medium, Chinese ink, renders a more neutral aspect to the paintings. The monochrome tones dialogue with old photographs – the predominant visual source of Palestine before 1948. Paintings of the Palestinian landscape are not so numerous. The most common in the collective imagery are those of a post-romantic Orientalist fashion, which depict historical monuments, and those of the Palestinian 'Sumud' artistic scene, which paint psychoanalytical representations of the lost ideal landscape. Painting those Qusur is an attempt to add to the missing monuments in the archives of Palestinian landscape paintings: the monuments of the common. It is a form of poetry to the forgotten landscapes and an homage to the culture of '3izebeh'.
BS: How do you present the work at Al Ma'mal Foundation of Contemporary Art?
BB: The concept for the presentation of the paintings is in the form of an installation. The layout attempts to recreate the topography of the landscape so as to immerse the viewer in a timeless journey in this fractured landscape, transcended from its context. The installation invites meandering with the multiple possibilities of paths and the transparency of the landscape created by the perspectives in the space. It becomes a temporary experience in an archive.
BS: Linked to these spatial decisions, I wonder whether you perceive these ruins as monuments?
BB: Archiving is a tool that immortalizes things so in corollary those ruins become, out of a conscious choice: monument. When objects in our time become monuments their evolution seems to stop and they become permanent relics. The notion of 'the Monument' is inherently complex. For whose memory have they been produced? To serve what purpose and by what means do we transcend something into a monument? With regards to the notion of the monument, it's not the structure per se of those Qusur that is interesting in terms of patrimony, but the habitat as a whole: the architecture, environment and sociology – the vernacular correlation between place and people. The idea and concept of the Qusur is the monument.
BS: As a final question, I would like to ask about your sources and route while researching and producing this work?
BB: This work is inspired by the Piranesi etchings of ruins in Rome, Bernd and Hilla Becher's photographic archiving on industrial structures, Bernard Rudofsky's research on the vernacular into 'architecture without architects', Alois Riegl's writings on the cult of the monument, and Riwaq's documentation work on Ottoman period structures, which includes a publication about Qusurs. All these works question, in their time, the notion of heritage and its inherent relativity.
 Jalal Toufic, (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film, Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press, 1993; 2nd ed., Sausalito, CA: The Post-Apollo Press, 2003, pp. 73-74.
Ibraaz: Please could you tell us about your work showing at The Jerusalem Show.
BB: The project that I have done for the J Show is in the first stage, is to archive all of the ruins in a valley in Jerusalem that is going to be destroyed pretty soon. I really wanted to paint the landscape in a way that makes it very difficult to locate- it becomes very abstract. Even though the landscapes were painted in situ, I tried to make them abstract in terms of their location. When exhibiting them in the Al Ma'mal gallery space, the idea was to recreate the geography of the landscape. The installation is a result of the whole archive, assembled and then placed in a way to reflect the typography and orientation in which I painted them.
This valley is in the process of being destroyed, and will be turned into a highway over the next decade. This project is an ironic act of pre-emptive archaeology. It is a slight send-up of the actions of the Israeli Antiquities Authority and what they chose to preserve and what is ignored or overwritten. It is also a question about what the heritage of this country is. These ruins are domestic spaces- they are the monuments of the common people and I find that interesting. These works are homage to rural culture which has been elided.
Ibraaz: Can you say a bit more about the technique that you used.
BB: Painting for me a tool, it is not a question of style. The concept for me was also to try to recreate an archive with the tools of the temporality of these buildings and so this demanded me to work in situ. I could have done them in colour but chose to do them in black and white because I feel it is much more nuanced- I think it also renders the whole project a lot more abstract. It is also a play with collective memory of what was- the black and white photos. I was just taking my easel and painting what I saw and felt, whilst staying true to every detail.
Ibraaz: How does the body of work you are exhibiting here speak to the other works in the show, if at all?
BB: Well, at least in the space I am exhibiting in, there are two works that communicate very well with mine. There is Adel Abidin's work Yesterday installation, which touches the same question of nostalgia and the past, albeit a different type. There are also the aerial photos of Jerusalem by Pekka Nittyvirta because they reference the same space. There is also some synergy with Connor McGrady's work about the mutation from the modernist to the neo-liberal world- from what was to what is. This work is not finished, but I am registering what this space looked like before the mutation happened.
Why can't I be there now?
Installation with drawings, words, and sound
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory)
I had been dreaming about going to Kudüs/Jerusalem. Then, one day, I was invited to participate in the Jerusalem Show, to stay there, to make a new work and even to perform. However, due to several reasons, I couldn't make it. I therefore proposed to participate in the exhibition with a work that explains and illustrates these reasons. Başak and Jack liked the idea.
Why can't I be there now? is a series of texts and drawings that document the process and the content of two new works – Faça (2014), presented in Athens, and A Room of Rhythms (2014), presented at Curva, MAXXI, in Rome – that were presented just before and during the opening of the Jerusalem Show. I have also included notes about two works to be shown at parallel events to the show: My A Golden Ruler with Two Dates, a part of Ala Younis' Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence, and Kaan Müjdeci's film Sivas (2014), for which I was director of sound and music.
Now, let's see if my absence might provide a chance for an alternative and – who knows – more direct way of sharing.
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory)
The Goodness Regime
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory)
The Goodness Regime is a film written and directed collaboratively by Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle. With the help of a cast of children, the film investigates the foundations of the ideology and self-image of modern Norway, from the Crusades, via the adventures of Fridtjof Nansen and the trauma of wartime occupation, to the diplomatic theatre of the Oslo Peace Accords.
The Goodness Regime was shot in Norway and Palestine, and combines children's performances with archival sound recordings, and new documentary footage filmed on location. In the course of their research, Manna and Storihle interviewed Ron Pundak, one of the Israeli architects of the Oslo back-channel talks, and Hanan Ashrawi, the former Palestine Liberation Organisation spokeswoman; the film premiered at Kunsthall Oslo exactly twenty years after the conclusion and signing of the Oslo Agreement by Israel and the P.L.O. in August and September 1993.
Al Ma'mal (The Tile Factory)
'And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…'
Aerial photographs depict Jerusalem and the heavens above it as a fiery inferno or as a tranquil landscape. The photographs fall between traditional landscapes and satellite imagery often seen from conflict areas.
In this case, the artist visited a Jerusalem he had previously only experienced as a media event: the overwhelming imagery of hell and biblical history.
Memories of major events often gain their meaning through media, and not only through political or academic interpretations. As time passes, one creates an intimate relationship with such a media-sourced event, and the memories produced from this experience distort our awareness of ourselves as individuals, as members of communities, and as participants in history.
Adel Abidin was born in Baghdad in 1973 and currently lives between Amman and Helsinki. He received a bachelor's degree in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 2000 and a Master's degree in Media and New Media Art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2005, focusing on installation, interactive installations, video and photography. His multimedia practice explores the complex relationships between culture, politics, and identity.
Abidin has presented his work in biennials including Biennale of Contemporary Art of Bosnia (2013), 54th Venice Biennale, Iraq Pavilion (2011), 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011), 17th Biennale of Sydney (2011), 11th International Cairo Biennale (2010), and 52nd Venice Biennale, Nordic Pavilion (2007). Selected group exhibitions include: MACRO-Museum, Rome; Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen; Station Museum, Houston; New Museum, NY; Gwangju Museum of Art, South Korea; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014); Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London (2013); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012 & 2013); Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver; Mead Gallery, UK; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Arab World Institute, Paris; ARTER – space for art, Istanbul (2012); MOCCA, Toronto; Arts-Talks and Sensations, Abu Dhabi; Mathaf, Doha (2011), and Espace at Louis Vuitton and MAC-VAL Museum, Paris (2008).
Selected solo exhibitions include: Forum Box Gallery, Helsinki (2014); Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah; Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai (2013); ARTER, Istanbul (2012); Darat al Funun, Amman (2011); Centre of Contemporary Art in Salamanca, Spain; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2010).
In 2012 Abidin received a Five Years Grant from The Art Council of Finland, and in 2011 he was an Ars Fennica Prize Nominee.
Abidin lives and works in Helsinki and Amman.
Bashar Alhroub received his BA degree in Fine Art from An-Najah National University and his MFA degree from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK.
Alhroub works with various media including photography, video installation and paintings, and his work is deeply influenced by the sociopolitical sentiments that assert his identity, and his desire to belong to a social and cultural community. Alhroub's recent works engage with the search into the self, using the body as a signifier. His work often shows threatened self-identity through the process of scrutiny and experimentation, since it deals with the personal vulnerability and experience of existential anxiety strongly associated with issues such as religion, nationalism, conflict and identity construction. He looks for meaning not in the individual sign but in the context of exile and fragmentation.
Alhroub has exhibited at various museums, biennials, and art venues including: The Institution of Contemporary Art (ICA), London (2013); Al Mahatta Gallery, Ramallah (2012); Eli and Edythe Broad Museum, USA (2012); 15th Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh (2012); The Barjeel Art Foundation, UAE (2012); Bag Art Exhibition, Norway (2012); Ali Ribelli Exhibition, Museo Del Brigantaggio, Italy (2012); Saison Vidéo 2012, France (2012); 24th Les Instants Vidéo, Marseille, France (2011); Centre for Contemporary Art, Lazania, Gdansk (2011); Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2010); the 17th International Festival of Video Art of Casablanca, Morocco (2010); The Mosaic Rooms, London (2008); the International Human Rights Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland (2006), among others.
Alhroub has also participated in several international artist residencies and workshops such Art Omi, New York (2014); Mattress Factory Art Museum residency, Pittsburgh (2013); Delfina Foundation Residency, London (2012); Bag Art Camp Residency and workshop, Bergen, Norway (2012), and 'Shatna' International Artists Workshop, Jordan (2008). Alhroub was awarded the first grant prize at the 15th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh (2012).
His work is in a number of international collections and museums including the Imperial War Museum, London, the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, and the Michael Abbate collection, New York, among others.
Benji Boyadgian studied architecture at ENSAPLV School of Architecture (L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette), attaining a Masters of Architecture with research distinction, specializing in urban sociology. His master's thesis is titled: 'Contemporary habitat and urban expansion in Bethlehem, Palestine'.
Boyadgian lived in Palestine until 2001 before moving abroad, spending time in Helsinki, Paris and San Francisco. He graduated in 2009 from the Architecture School of La Villette in Paris, specializing in urban sociology in conflict areas. He moved back to Jerusalem in 2010, where he now lives and works, exploring themes revolving around heritage, architecture and landscape, using painting and drawing as tools to convey his subject matters.
Recent solo shows include A journey into Abstrabesque (2013) at Al Ma'mal Foundation, Jerusalem, and Vanishing Landscapes (2010) at Al Kahf Gallery, Bethlehem.
He lives and works in Jerusalem.
Cevdet Erek's work is characterized by a marked use of rhythm and site specificity. Erek combines spatial interventions, sound, graphics, text and performance often in an attempt to alter the viewer's perception and experience of a given space.
Erek's solo exhibitions include Alt Üst, Spike Island, Bristol (2014) and Week, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2012). Erek displayed the installation Raum der Rhythmen (Room of Rhythms) at dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), and his book Room of Rhythms 1 was published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König in 2012.
Until recently, Erek taught at ITU TM Conservatory and headed a studio at ITU.
Erek lives and works in Istanbul.
Hiraki Sawa received his BFA from the University of East London and his MFA from the Slade School of Art at University College, London. His work has been featured in the 2013 Biennale de Lyon, the 2010 Biennale of Sydney, 2008 Busan Biennial, the 2005 Yokohama Trienniale and the 2003 Biennale de Lyon. Sawa's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Chisenhale Gallery, London; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Hammer Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; Wooster College of Art, Wooster; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; Firstsite Contemporary Art Centre, Essex; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima; and the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie et Musée du Temps de Besançon with Le Consortium, Dijon.
Hiraki Sawa's works are included in the public collections of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.
Sawa lives and works in London, UK.
Jumana Manna works primarily with film and sculpture. Her work often addresses the body, nationalism and history. She holds a BFA from the National Academy of the Arts, Oslo and an MA in Aesthetics and Politics from California Institute of the Arts. Recent exhibitions and screenings have taken place at SculptureCenter (NY), Performa13 Biennial (NY), The 11th Sharjah Biennale, Home Works Forum VI (Beirut), Kunsthall Oslo (Oslo), Berlinische Galerie (Berlin) and ICA (London).
Manna lives and works in Berlin and Jerusalem.
Sille Storihle (1985, Tromsø)
Sille Storihle is an artist and researcher working mainly with short films and publications. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Trondheim Academy of Fine Art and an MA in Aesthetics and Politics from California Institute of the Arts. Her central areas of interest include gender politics, nationalism and history. With Liv Bugge, she runs the Oslo based platform FRANK, aiming at building community, show contemporary art and generate discussions addressing hegemonic structures in society relating to gender, sexuality and desire.
Storihle recently finished a new short film looking at the relationship between power, eros and politics in the Californian gay rights movement in the early 70s. Her artistic and curatorial projects have recently been shown at The Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art (2014), ONE Archives (2014), Kunsthall Oslo (2013), Bergen Assembly (2013) Performa 13, 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013), Unge Kunstneres Samfund (2013) and Kunstnernes Hus (2012).
Storihle lives and works in Berlin.
Pekka Niittyvirta received his BA in Photography from Kent Institute of Art and Design, Rochester, UK, and his MA in Photography from University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland.
Niittyvirta's work deals with the consequences of human actions, whether they are related to society, technology, the environment or the financial market. He uses photography and video as material in various ways to depict situations or phenomena, and his works do not necessarily rely on traditional imaging processes alone. Incorporating various digital, biological and chemical processes, they address such issues as the problems with technology and information society. In addition to his hometown, he works with projects in various locations, ranging from Swedish Lapland to Eastern Africa, and has exhibited his work since 1999 in Finland and internationally in both solo and group shows.
Niittyvirta lives and works in Helsinki.