On the question of making art in cities under siege: exploring the intersection of hospitality and hostilityMichael Rakowitz
The focus of this workshop was conceived especially for the launch of Dar Jacir as a site specific series of engagements with local organizations and individuals who comprise the neighborhood to which the residency belongs. Over a period of one week, the participants were welcomed into the Azzah and Aida refugee camps, as well as Wi'am Palestinian Conflict Transformation center, as well as hotels and other businesses on the street where they engaged with the community and it's history. In reciprocation, the workshop concluded at Dar Jacir where neighbors were invited to a feast—featuring barbecued knafe and Iraqi masgouf—that enlisted everyone’s participation in preparing and consuming the meal. This social and celebratory act of hosting in the shadow of a hostile occupying force was bound together in the collective reading of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s book, On the Destruction of Art - Or Art and Conflict, or the Art of Healing, published on the occasion of dOCUMENTA (13), an exhibition in which both Emily Jacir and Michael Rakowitz took part, and in which their intersecting concerns and commitments in art and their two-decade friendship were explored.
Supported by Michael Rakowitz, Vicky Sahagian and the A.M. Qattan Foundation through the ‘Visual Arts: A Flourishing Field’ Project.
Photo: Rula Halawani