“Postcards from the Land of No People (wish you were here)”, 2015, printed postcards in a wooden rack
A contemporary Orientalist sees herself in Palestine through a series of souvenir postcards… whether or not she belongs or is welcome there…
This piece is about how memory and identity intermingle and become truth for the author of that history. A series of found images dated from late 1890s are appropriated from the US Library of Congress “Holy Land” archives and the artist inserts herself into the image attempting to become an integral part of the narrative by almost any means possible. This can be a metaphor for personal history, the artist having once been immersed in all things Palestinian by marriage or the images could point to some vague but potent longing to belong to the exotic “Other” culture, even for just a moment as a tourist to some foreign land. There is an element of humour here, with the artist fully aware of the “square peg, round hole” issues at play here and the absurdity of a certain tone of Colonialism that tries to overwrite history, yet there is no lacking in sincerity for the love of this corner of the Earth once known as the “Land of No People”.
On the reverse of each card is written a message from the artist to “My darling” (a lover? a family member? a friend?), with the sentiment, “wish you were here!” along with a short message to share the experience with the postcard recipient.
To see this and the many other works in “Identity” (21 January to 13 March 2016), head to Manchester to Art with a Heart [AWAH], a charity arts organisation in nearby Altrincham.
Founded in 2012, AWAH is a charity that comprises of 4-5 small exhibition galleries, hosting workshops, exhibitions, charitable events, and volunteering opportunities aimed at supporting the arts and creative communities, as well as promoting Altrincham heritage and history.
If you’re in the area, have a look in!