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Knafeh, 2014

UHD-Video, 16:20


The hidden part of Jerusalem, where me and my family gravitated almost every weekend to walk through the alleys of the Old City; colours, life, and excitement. No two visits were ever alike. Affordable everything, practical camel wool carpets, garments, shouting merchants, byzantine churches and trolleys with sesame seed rolls speeding through the crowds, screaming for them to “move out the way!”. My parents and I are unsure to this day which side of Jerusalem was our home. Maybe neither side was. Maybe our ‘project(ion)’ lay in the east side, with the Palestinian refugee / labourer. A palace famous for its delicacies – "Jaafar" – a famous coffee house. Same dark granite covering the floor, as well as the tables, and an identical, overpowering, almost black, marble covering the walls. Skilled, busy, fast and not too friendly workers fill this hive: adding to the Knafeh large quantities of honey, butter, melt, bliss !!! … The colour - orange. Hunger and joy mix the 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 painterly expressionism. A video is already, in its essence, half a painting, half a pixelized two-dimensional representation by 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 bridges. It’s a continuity that doesn’t recognise borders. The film is rooted in my fascination. By carefully observing the beautiful process, precise components, skilled and elegant movements and compositions involved, especially the materials. It is not only a metaphorical, nostalgic joy / lament, but also an insistent wish to return, to be contained by this other.… 

.....excerpts from conversation

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