In February 2015, ICA will present the first UK institutional solo exhibition of artist Dor Guez in collaboration with The Mosaic Rooms. As an artist of Christian Palestinian and Jewish Tunisian descent, living in Jaffa, he is considered a leading and critical voice from the Middle East whose practice questions contemporary art’s role in narrating unwritten histories. Entitled ‘The Painter’ this new installation is the first of five from a new body of work, The Sick Man of Europe. Guez's most ambitious project to date, it reflects on the military history and current political climate of the Middle East through the creative practices of individual soldiers from the region.
The installation presents the story of a painter-turned-soldier, a Jewish Tunisian who immigrated to Israel. The ’painter’ was conscripted to the Yom Kippur War as a reservist soldier in 1973 and, in recent years, has undergone psychiatric treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, part of which consists of repeatedly recording his memories of the war. These recordings are central to Guez’s new work, and relate directly to his artistic strategy of repetition and storytelling in re-evaluating accounts of the past.
Dor Guez (b.1983 Jerusalem) is an artist, scholar, and founder of the Christian Palestinian Archive (CPA). In March 2014, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem has appointed Guez as Head of the Photography Department, making Guez the youngest department head in the history of the academy. His latest research project about archives, Pre-Israeli Orientalism, is due to appear this coming year.
Guez's work has been the subject of over 20 solo exhibitions. In 2010, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, held his first European solo exhibition, making Guez the youngest artist to have had a solo show in the institute's history. In 2012, The Rose Art Museum in Boston hosted Guez's first Overview show. Guez presented in numerous international exhibitions and biennials including the 12th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul; 17th and 18th International Contemporary Art Festival, Videobrasil, São Paulo; the 3rd Moscow International Biennale, Moscow; Biennale Benin, Cotonou; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Maxxi Museum, Rome, and more. Guez’s most recent installation, 40-Days was exhibited at The Mosaic Rooms, London.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a booklet, published in collaboration with The Mosaic Rooms, designed by Julia and including an essay by Achim Bochardt-Hume, Head of Exhibitions, Tate Modern.