Looking into this incident,
Software glitches made it necessary to have actual humans perform random checks on risky sites, a labor outsourced to Safe Public Media, a
The piece is comprised of two components. The first is a stack of small fliers bearing F's original bare-breasted photo (nipples expurgated) and the activist's pleas for help. The second is a late-model Macintosh computer that the viewer can use to find further evidence of SPM malfeasance.
The tale of F's disappearing nipples, and how it ramifies in the shared condition of 21st-century humanity, is appealing for its dual nature.
On one hand, it emerges from the world of postpartisan political activism that has mirrored real-world dissident movements like
On the other hand, "Lost and Found" is a thing of cyberspace, entangling "fact" and "fiction" with a narrative elasticity redolent of the oeuvre of
Kodeih is one of 15 artists whose work is now on display in Exposure, the
On the rain-sodden afternoon that
It would be satisfying to imagine that an act of SPM subversion had snuffed the BAC's Mac. The busted computer could also be an integral part of Kodeih's piece. Either story would be less annoying than a mundane technical problem.
Chosen by a selection committee comprised of filmmaker-artist
These include photo series, painting, sculptural and handicraft works, the most-accomplished of which stand as concise evocations of raucous imagined worlds beyond the gallery. They also serve to provide intriguing foils to Exposure's multimedia and video installations.
One of these,
One of its two principal components is "Space for Protest." Located behind a display of progressive political literature from the 20th-century
On the other side of the hall, Hourani's "Disembodied Places: The Withdrawal from Geography" is a screen saver-style panoramic shot of the
Exposure's installations include some of its best-realized work.
Take "Behind the Sun," a gripping video installation by
The audio is a nearly 10-minute piece of VHS footage that records the oil fields of
Evoking one of her country's more photogenic episodes, "Behind the Sun" is reminiscent of "Lessons in Darkness" (1992).
Qadiri's deployment of Arabic verse will remind some of
If "Behind the Sun" finds some inspiration from these earlier works, it is unique for the manner and substance of its departure from them. The VHS camera's on-the-ground visual language gives the piece an aesthetic that is at once improvised, personal and, perversely, nostalgic.
"And the stars / as they illuminate the walker's path," intones a baritone voice in Arabic, "Oh how many galaxies and nebulae / fly in the universe of space / like sunken atoms."
Recited in counterpoint to the VHS images, the poetry evokes the cosmic in an altogether different dialect than "Lessons." Indeed, Qadiri's juxtaposition of verse and image makes Herzog's fumbling toward the sublime seem forced by comparison.
An equally immersive, if more formally variegated, work is the multimedia installation "Possible and Imaginary Lives" (2012). A collaboration between
This accomplished piece takes its departure from the stories of four strong-willed Palestinian sisters who grew up in
Though the installation assembles (and occasionally doctors) photos of the four sisters and draws upon (sometimes fictionalized) interviews with three of them, "Lives" is a fictive recreation of the four women's collective biography.
Archival photographs, clustered as if hung on a living room wall, adorn the installation's "foyer," while a score of period pop tunes and ambient sounds (delivered via speakers in the rear of the room) fill the space. A pair of slide projectors cast family photos upon one wall, interspersed with inter-titles of the sisters' sometimes-muffled testimonials, which are the work's main audio component.
In addition to being engrossing and at times amusing, "Lives" is an impressive deconstruction of a by now knee-jerk impulse to render past lives as documentary film.
Easily the most courageous and personal of Exposure's works is
The work's complementary images are projected on three walls of the installation. One frames a sort of narrative prelude, showing the artist shaving her head in preparation for shooting the video.
The other two walls frame a near diptych. Upon one wall is an image of the artist standing, shorn and nude, staring expressionless past the camera as a pulsing discoloration seeps through her body.
Facing this vista is another of vines creeping across an ornate tile floor toward the artist's nude thighs and feet. An animated imitation of time-lapse photography, it represents a sobering metaphor for the disease – a cannibalism of voracious growth.
"Exposure 2013" is up at
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