[spectre] Liminal Spaces art space Ramallah 10-12 March 2006

Andreas Broeckmann abroeck at transmediale.de
Mon Feb 27 13:32:08 CET 2006

From: David Garcia <davidg at xs4all.nl>
Subject: <nettime> Liminal Spaces. Ramallah Event
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 10:02:26 +0100

Conference for the Project LIMINAL SPACES   10/ 11/ 12 March 2006.

The conference will include the inauguration of a new art space 200 m away from
the largest checkpoint of the West Bank, separating Jerusalem and Ramallah. The
space will serve as a centre for an art programme and the production 
of new works
by regional and international artists throughout 2006 and beyond. 
is the first initiative in the Middle Eastern region of this kind which has
evolved despite a climate of ever growing hardship and alienation in 
the context
of the occupation and the construction of the Separation Fence/ Wall.

speakers list:
speakers - Khalil Nizm, Khaled Horani, Ilan Pappe
Saturday :
Erden Kosova, Azra Aksamija, Simona Nastac, Francis Mckee
Charles Esche, Reem Fadde, David Garcia

artists participants : Sameh Abboushi (PAL), Azra Aksamija (BO/ US),
Ayreen Anastas (PAL/ US) and Rene Gabri (IRN/ US) , Rana Bshara
(PAL), Inas Hamad (PAL), Sandi Hilal (PAL/ I) and Alessandro Petti
(ITA), Khaled Horani (PAL), Sabine Horlitz/ Oliver Clemens of
AnArchitektur (D), Yochai Avrahami  (IL), Yael Bartana (IL), Jumana
Emil Abboud (PAL), Peter Friedl (AU/ D), Hagar Goren (IL), Irit Hemmo
(IL), Ligna (D), Suleiman Mansour (PAL), Anna Meyer (AU), Dan
Perjovschi (RO), Doron Rabina (IL), Lars Ramberg (NOR), Oren Sagiv
(IL), Sala-Manca Group (IL), Miri Segal (IL), Sean Snyder (D),
Superflex (DK), Simon Wachsmuth (D/ AU)

Curated by:
Galit Eilat
Reem Fadda
Philipp Misselwitz

Liminal Spaces is aimed at examining the possibility of a Palestinian-
Israel-German cooperation in light of the ever-growing hardship endured by
Palestinians under Israeli occupation; deprivation of freedom of mobility; and
basic civil rights.

Liminal Spaces will develop new art projects by artists and 
architects exploring
the formation of urban frontiers in an everyday context and aspiring 
to generate
psychological and social change.



The conflict over territorial and demographic control has been deeply inscribed
into the physical and social fabric of the intersecting regions of Israel and
Palestine. Urban frontier zones like Jerusalem have become laboratories of an
urbanism of ethnic segregation that is unique in its extreme: a 
spatial matrix of
ethnically-homogeneous insular realities, contained within spatial and mental
frontiers.  Since 2000, and the outburst of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, previously
invisible divisions have been replaced with physical barriers, walls or fences.
Everyday contact zones between the 'Israeli' and 'Palestinian' city have
eroded to the bare minimum. Physical frontiers are reinforced with generic
architectural vocabulary of aggressive seclusion, mirroring global trends of
socioeconomic, ethnic and political segregation. Domestic and public 
spaces in the
Israeli city have become increasingly militarised as preventative measures are
adopted against the omnipresent fear of real, imagined or constructed 
terror and
internal threats. Security, control and ambient fear transform everyday urban
spaces into frontier zones, suburbs into gated enclaves, suburban 
shopping centres
into fortresses. An equally strong impact is exercised by mass 
communication tools
and media technologies that foreground radicalised images and condition the
everyday perception of the other. For Palestinians, Jerusalem has 
become a closed
city, open only to those holding an Israeli ID card and able to 
afford living in
the city's ever more congested neighbourhoods. In the context of increasing
political and economic hardship, Palestinians are preoccupied with everyday
survival and have withdrawn to the private sphere, relying on 
traditional family
support networks.

Everyday Frontiers

Palestinians and Israelis live in separate worlds, in which the space of the
'other' disappears from the cognitive map of everyday life.  Systems of codes,
sometimes imperceptible to the outsider, clearly demarcate trusted and feared
territories. But the obvious and dominant polarity between the Israeli and the
Palestinian Jerusalem, as the most evident example, does not convey the full
complexity of societal transformations. Indeed, this polarity obscures and
deflects from the inner conflicts faced by two cultures, both 
tragically forced to
define their own identities towards the perceived enemy.  This polarised
perception overshadows and paralyses the ability to acknowledge 
internal conflicts
that reach deep into the social and psychological texture of both cultures.
Retreat and withdrawal from the enemy equally affects other social 
relations and
modes of interaction in the local, communal or domestic 
context=97with the family,
the neighbour, the stranger, the community. Although everyday reality in Israel
and Palestine is fundamentally asymmetrical, both cultures share 
increasing inner
destabilisation due to economic polarisations, militarisation of 
civic life, and
religious and social tensions. Inner frontiers have emerged due to conflicting
processes of traditionalism vs. westernisation, persisting family 
law/custom vs.
modern lifestyles, social and gender inequalities, etc.

Destruction/ Innovation It is not surprising that much of the 
creative production
in the region is deeply conditioned by this increasingly gruelling reality.
Artists operate in seclusion and isolation. Contacts outside the 
region are more
easily established, while the creative production within the region is almost
unknown to both communities. The dominant climate of mutual boycott between
Palestinian and Israeli institutions is also supported or de facto accepted by
many individual artists, architects and other creative disciplines. 
The difficulty
of crossing borders due to tight closure and travel restriction regimes make
casual daily encounters almost impossible.  But despite (and 
sometimes in specific
response to) these difficulties, many initiatives have begun to 
explore political
and social agendas guided by the belief that art is not only a mirror 
to society,
but also a tool for political and social change. This impulse has given rise to
projects and works that lie in between representation and action, blurring
boundaries between disciplines, artistic production and political activism,
generating diverse formats such as street spectacles (like the 
projection project
at the separation wall in Abu Dis, Jerusalem, jointly organised by the
Palestinian-Israeli artists/ activists group 'Artists Without Wall'); one-day
events (such as the exhibition series '[H]earat Shulaym' curated by the
Jerusalem-based Sala-Manca group); or more explicit protest actions. At times,
such projects have successfully created umbrellas for joint Israeli and
Palestinian cooperation due to their informal, ad hoc nature and mode 
of operation
(initiatives 'Artists Without Wall' or the group 'Anarchists Without 
the Wall'),
or = their use of new media (e.g. initiative 'The right to flash'). The
initiatives share a desire to expose and undermine existing boundaries,
(temporarily) dissolve hierarchies, or subvert existing physical 
(e.g. separation
wall) or media-related (e.g. internet, mass media) infrastructures. In the
exhibition/events series 'Hilchot Shchenim' ('Regulations for Neighbours') the
Israeli Centre for Digital Art - Holon has attempted to stage a 
dialogue between
local projects and similar international projects.

Other creative and academic disciplines have developed equally specific formats
and platforms that attempted to undermine the overwhelming separation 
of discourse
and production. The trilateral German/Israeli/Palestinian research project
'Grenzgeografien - geographies of conflict' brought together 
architects, urbanists
and students in investigating everyday spatial and cultural productions at
specific frontier sites in Jerusalem. The project led to the international
conference 'Cities of Collision' (November 2004). For the first time, 
a trilateral
working process considered the urban reality of Jerusalem from multiple
viewpoints, thus generating new readings of daily life within the 
city's contested
spaces, tying local debates into an international discourse.


Idea and Process

First and foremost, this project aims to establish a missing and much- needed
platform for cooperation and dialogue within the regional creative 
platform which will outlive the project. The proposal is for a pilot project to
draw on the prior experience and existing combined resources of the Israeli,
Palestinian and German partners in order to establish a cultural 
network for new
intercultural/artistic cooperation projects.

Eight Israeli and eight Palestinian artists will be invited to 
participate in the
programme as permanent members. German/ European artists are invited to
participate as residents. During the process, artists will meet and 
present work
to each other. The participants will engage in guided field trips and a lecture
and discussion series with local and international experts on 
relevant issues from
the fields of architecture, urban studies, ethnographic research, sociology or
law. All activities will take place at a new art space/ project 
office, which will
be opened at the site of the Qalandia Checkpoint between Jerusalem 
and Ramallah.
The area is included within the Israeli municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, yet
situated just north of the Separation Wall, hence remaining accessible to both
Israeli and Palestinian participants. As a kick-off event, an international
conference will be staged in February 2006.

Strategies and Tactics

Over a process of six months, participating artists will be asked to develop
specific tactics and strategies to address the physiognomy of 
specific sites and
their everyday operations. Individual or teams will research new methodologies
that question the perception of the frontiers and challenge their 
permeability and potential to serve as contact and communication 
zones. Artists/
or collaborative teams of artists and others will be asked to develop 
that explore, make visible, comment on, obscure, confront or interact with
physical and mental frontier spaces. The programme will encourage an 
emphasis on
new forms of creative practice which adopts, investigates and subverts
contemporary technology and systems of media communication, underlining the
central role played taken by technology in the shaping of the 
physical and mental

After completion, works will be made accessible to the public. Works can be
displayed at the Qalandia project office or in-situ in the area of 
Qalandia/ Road
1. In parallel, an internet site will accompany the process, which 
can be used by
the participating artists for exchange of ideas and materials and serve as an
interface to the public. The final stage of the project will be a 
major exhibition
at the GfZK (Gallery for Contemporary Arts Leipzig) followed by exhibitions in
Ramallah and Holon. In addition, the working process will be documented in an
extensive catalogue.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo at bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime at bbs.thing.net

More information about the SPECTRE mailing list