AM Qattan Foundation’s 2014 award for “Young Artist of the Year” shortlists nine artists in “Suspended Accounts”, an exhibition integral to Palestine’s biennial art fair, Qalandiya International 2014. QI runs from 22 October through 15 November 2014.
“Suspended Accounts, an archive in itself: looking back, looking forward”
In keeping with the theme of 2014 Qalandiya International biennial, “Archives Lived and Shared”, the curatorial approach for this year’s “Young Artist of the Year Award” [YAYA] is focused on concerns with “the artist’s use of self-historisation through an archival methodology”. Nine emerging artists collaborate with independent curator Viviana Checchia for “Suspended Accounts”, an exhibition which culminates the long-term project to establish “a retrospective understanding of the use of archive within contemporary art…as a tool for creating history.”
The nine artists, all between the ages of 22 and 30, were selected earlier in the year to participate with a number of Palestinian and international artists and curators.The project began with learning more about the long-term project, its conceptual framework, and to exchange ideas with each other. In a kind of virtual “laboratory” to progress research and discussion, online workshops were conducted by artists Uriel Orlow, Rania Bellou, Hrair Sarkisian, Amina Menia, with curators Zdenka Badovinac and Fereshte Moosavi.
Three prize winners will be selected from the shortlist of seven women and two men, at the exhibition “Suspended Accounts”, opening 23 October 2014 at Ramallah City Hall, Palestine. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winner is announced 27 October 2014, chosen by an international jury of artists, curators, and other cultural practitioners.
Coinciding with the exhibition are a number of other activities: a panel with Uriel Orlow, Michael Rakowitz and Carolina Rito entitled “On self-historization, (in) visible narratives, imagination and other (hi)stories”; a workshop led by Lia Perjovschi; a tour of Beatrice Catanzaro’s project “The Prisoner’s Section” in Nablus; and ends with setting up a blog as a platform for ongoing collaboration between the artists.
Nine artists exhibiting in “Suspended Accounts” and YAYA 2014
This year’s young Palestinian artists submitted a wide range of work from video to painting, their proposals coming from across Palestine as well as outside the Occupied Territories, including Haifa, and Amman [Jordan]. One of the artists hails from the Netherlands; Iman Al-Sayed is pursuing her Master’s in Fine Art from the University of the Arts Utrecht, engaged in multi-disciplinary projects that relate art and politics in the Arab world.
Three artists from Jerusalem participate in “Suspended Accounts” for YAYA 2014: Noor Abed (a filmmaker who recently joined a group show in London’s Mosaic Rooms), Noor Abuarafeh who challenges notions of Palestinian identity, and painter Hanadi Amzi Abu Jamal, who studied in Bethlehem at Al-Kalima College for Culture and Arts.
There are two artists from Ramallah joining the YAYA 2014 programme; the first is Farah Salah, a dancer and choreographer, who also coordinates numerous artistic and cultural ventures such as Sareyyet Ramallah Dance Company, Palestinian Circus, and Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival. Many of Salah’s current projects are designed for audience interaction in the performance whilst also utilising graffiti, video, or other means along with movement.
Also from Ramallah, Bashar Khalaf is a painter and illustrator who studied at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem. His work is included in the Palestine Poster Project Archives, contributing two posters in 2012,”Tasamuh [Tolerance]“, for the Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies.
Aya Abu Gazaleh earned her BA in Fine Art at University of Jordan, and she is currently based in Amman where her current art practice focuses on painting and drawing. Also from outside of West Bank, photographer Hamody Gannam lives and works in Haifa with a portfolio that accumulates characters as well as unpeopled scenes from around his home.
Majdal Nateel, born in Shati Refugee Camp in Gaza, uses painting “to liberate herself from the anguish of the tragedies of Israeli incursions and bombings” of her homeland. The freely-applied brush-strokes and bright colours are somewhat at odds with the environment in which they were made, with Nateel often found working right through the barrage of missiles and bullets. Even so, she attempts to show an “appreciation of life” in paintings where “destruction and hope are not only contrasted but seem to co-exist”.
About the Young Artist of the Year Award
Founded in 2000, the biennial Young Artist of the Year Award [YAYA] is sponsored by the Culture and Arts programme in the AM Qattan Foundation and is awarded to any Palestinian artist between the ages of 22 and 30. The award was re-dedicated in 2006 to Hassan Hourani, a talented young artist who tragically drowned in an accident three years after being awarded the first “Young Artist of the Year”. At the time of his death, Hourani had finished 10 of the 40 pages intended for a children’s book, “Hassan Everywhere“, which depicts dreamscapes of the author who “rides the waves, is fed by the birds, flies on his magic bicycle, sits on the rooftops, always looking on to see the panorama of the world”.
The list of international jurors on previous YAYA selection committees includes well-known names such as Palestinian artists Mona Hatoum and Emily Jacir, Italian object maker Michelangelo Pistoletto (“Venus of the Rags)”, along with curator Jack Persekian, Director of The Palestinian Museum in Birzeit (opening 2015), and art historian Catherine David, to count a few.
Previous YAYA winners have achieved international success, exhibiting their work as well as devoting their efforts to arts education and mentoring future generations of arts professionals. Artist and activist Rana Bishara, photographer Steve Sabella, and Tina Sherwell, the current Director of Academic Programmes at International Academy of the Art Palestine [IAAP], are among those who’ve launched their careers from previous Young Artist of the Year Award programmes.
The 2014 Young Artists of the Year are
Noor Abed, Noor Abuarafeh, Aya Abu Ghazaleh, Hanadi Azmi Abu Jamal, Iman Al-Sayed, Hamody Gannam, Bashar Khalaf, Majdal Nateel, and Farah Saleh
More links and information
- Read about “Suspended Accounts” exhibition and the Young Artist of the Year Award [YAYA] 2014 at Qalandiya International
- Find out more about YAYA2014 on the AM Qattan Foundation website
- Learn more about the AM Qattan Foundation in Ramallah and London – “Serving culture and education in Palestine and the Arab World”
- Young Artist of the Year Award 2014 on Facebook – by AM Qattan Foundation
- Read about critic and curator Viviana Checchia
Exhibition details: “Suspended Accounts” opens with the Young Artist of the Year Award 2014 on 23 October and ends 15 November 2014. Supported by Qalandiya International, and AM Qattan Foundation.
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