Dor Guez: "Scanograms #2, September 2011" at the 12th Istanbul Biennial

Details from Dor Guez's "Scanograms #2, September 2011," Installation
Dor Guez (29) is a Jerusalem-born artist. His work integrates archival research, photography and video installations towards an engagement with questions of identity, multiculturalism, religion, nationalism, and ethnicity.

As he has done in recent shows – at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, (2010) and at the Tel Aviv Museum (2011) – Guez integrates series from his archive project into his installations for the Istanbul Biannual. The Installation “Scanograms # 2, September 2011”, deals directly with the upcoming declaration of Palestine in the UN, and it is one of the artist's most political works. The Installation contains 9 black wooden objects, each presenting passport pages from British mandatory Palestine, before Israel was established. The raw materials of this work were taken from the artist's Christian-Palestinian Archive, which he has been building for the last three years, dedicated to the Christian minority, which has always been an ethnic minority in this region. Each of the 9 objects include pages from Guez's grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s passports from Palestine, as well as written testimonies in Arabic, which the artist recorded. From the visa stamps (of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan etc.) and the testimonies, one can grasp how the entire Middle East was open and all communities moved freely before the 1948 war. The phenomenon of Israel had a great influence on the Palestinian people, externally and internally: the different communities were separated from each other, changing the entire region and the identity of each section.

“Scanograms # 2, September 2011” offers a visual disorder in the Zionist-Israeli narrative, which was designed in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. The project not only relates to the history of the Palestinians, but also to the modern narrative of nationality designing. It opens a door to contemplating the regime of identities in general, and Palestinian and Israeli identities in particular. By bringing together historical narratives with personal stories, the installation enables the viewer to examine his/her own cultural, national, aesthetic, and political perceptions.
Istanbul Biennial, Dor Guez

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