Knafeh, 2014

Video, 16:20  Min

The revolving movement, of skilfully layered matter, over going transformation, shot from above: Knafeh follows the almost painterly process of preparing an Arab sweetmeat that is loved throughout the Middle East. The film is characteristic of Landau’s work; evidence of her continued engagement with the hunger and sensuality, movement and cycles in cultural clashes and historic symbioses. Just as the land marking and cutting and border erasing and drawing take place in the sand, in the game of the boys at the beach, in her earlier work Azkelon (2011), so is the flesh of the Knafeh cut and heavy parts are removed and handed out. The decisive creation and distribution of portions which vary in form echo borders and territory of a land which is desired, devoured— and destroyed.

... Skilled, busy, fast and not over friendly workers fill this hive: adding to the Knafeh large quantities of honey, butter, melt, bliss !!! ... The colour—orange. Hunger and joy mix the fragrant air and make it move. Looking at the image of someone creating the sticky tray an image of two things is formed. First it resonates in a painterly way. It’s a video of composition in motion. It looks like action painting. A video is already, in

its essence, partly painting, partly photographic procedure and mainly a representation delivered upon air and light. And then there is the politics of making something as simple and symbolic as this pastry. It’s a modest practice, but a tradition that excites, comforts and builds bridges. It’s a continuity that doesn’t recognize borders. The film is rooted in my fascination and return for ›more‹. By carefully observing the beautiful process, simple components, skilled and elegant movements and the camera’s composition some harmony is re-enacted. It is not only a metaphor- ical, nostalgic joy / lament, but also an insistent wish to return, to be contained by a joint Palestinian-Israeli ›normal life‹.

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