Illustration: Shlomi Yaffe, digital print, 2011

Middle East Europe / Slovak Republic

SPACE gallery, Bratislava

Exhibiting artists:
Emad Bornat (PS), Christoph Draeger (CH), Fawzy Emrany (PS), Ihab Jadallah (PS), Shahar Marcus (IL), Khaled Jarrar (PS), Anisa Ashkar (PS), Miklós Mécs & Judit Fischer (HU), Tamara Moyzes (SK/CZ) & Shlomi Yaffe (IL), Damir Nikšić (BiH)

Curators: Tamara Moyzes and Juraj Čarný

We are all familiar with images from Israel and from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that many of us have never personally visited the Middle East. On the basis of this mediated reality, we frequently arrive at conclusions, which are characterised by oversimplification or misunderstanding. While we view images of the Middle East through the media, for Palestinian or Israeli artists these represent an actual, lived experience. In our environment, their works may remain entirely beyond comprehension due to their depth and complexity, while when we place works by European artists into the context to which they refer, there may be a complete distortion of meanings.

The exhibition Middle East Europe draws attention to this phenomenon in the context of political art. It opens up the issue of the responsibility of the artist and observes how the interpretation of a work of art is transformed if we place the work into a different cultural context.The exhibition contains works presenting both “high politics” and personal human drama, terrorism and peace activism, generally comprehensible slogans and contextual testimonies. Whilst some artists respond to the theme ironically and propose various pseudo-solutions to the conflict, others engage with urgent problems of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in today’s Europe.

Last but not least the exhibition reflects the historical and present interconnection of Europe and the Middle East. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is especially strongly bound to the destiny of Central Europe, which bears its share of responsibility for what is happening in the Middle East today.

exhibition lasts: 14.6. - 27.7. 2012