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Emily Jacir Europe @ Whitechapel Gallery in London

In 2007, Emily Jacir was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. A year later she won the Hugo Boss Prize, and in 2009 she had an exhibition in the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Since then she has been a firmly established member of the international artistic scene.

In September the Whitechapel Gallery in London is presenting a large-scale retrospective exhibition by the Palestinian artist. Almost two decades of her creative work is on display, sculptures, films, drawings, large-scale installations and photographs. The title of the exhibition refers to Jacir’s confrontation with Europe, especially Italy and the Mediterranean countries. Her work appeals mainly through its combination of poetry and political explosiveness. Subjects such as migration, resistance or, in a positive sense, exchange between cultures define her work.

The highlight of the exhibition is said to be her installation “Material for a film” (2004-), which is also part of the Zimmermann Collection. This work is based on the life of the Palestinian writer, Wael Zuaiter, who was murdered in Rome in 1972, allegedly by the Israeli Mossad. The artist uses personal objects of Zuaiter such as photographs, letters and her own documents, research materials and opinions of contemporaries to shed a very personal and moving light on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Emily Jacir: Europe” is certainly one of the highlights of the autumn season in London and will surely lead to lively discussions due to the political dimension.

(Photo: Emily Jacir, Material for a film, 2004 – photo: David Heald. © Emily Jacir)
(Emily Jacir: Europe; 30 September 2015 to 3 January 2016; Whitechapel Gallery, London)

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