Jawad al Malhi’s work includes painting, photography, video and site-specific work and is preoccupied with the experience of marginalized communities and their relationship to space. Exhibited across two venues in London (The Delfina Foundation and The Mosaic Rooms), his New Works seek to produce alternative representations of Jerusalem, a city whose iconography has been exhausted by tourists and journalists alike.
Combining photography and video and taking archetypal, panoramic sightseeing vistas of Jerusalem as a starting point, Malhi’s large views of the city are held in slowly disintegrating ice. The frozen panels that are exhibited at The Delfina Foundation comment on the stagnant present of a city that once was a centre of cosmopolitan life. They capture Jerusalem’s remaining arteries of life and explore the contrast between the old city and life in the confines of near-by refugee camps.
Jawad al Malhi is a long time resident of Jerusalem. His New Works are intimately connected with his personal memories and evolve from a return to the sites of his childhood. He observes the cacophony of “voice-overs” that are projected onto the occupied city and highlight its somber reality. Caught between a construction ban and accumulating graveyards, Jerusalem gradually collapses under stratums of ideals, ideologies and mortality.
The works on show at The Mosaic Rooms pursue Jawad al Malhi’s exploration of marginal spaces. Since 2007, he has been documenting life in the refugee camps around Jerusalem, nights and days, across the seasons. The resulting body of work highlights the rapid transformation of the landscape prompted by the necessity to accommodate a growing Palestinian refugee population. The panoramic images act as testimonies of dislocation and document, at the margins of Jerusalem, a precarious daily life, paced by immobility and the monotonous potency of waiting.
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