Emily Jacir

born 1970 in Betlehem,
lives and works in Ramallah and New York.

One of the most renowned Palestinian artists. Jacir uses various media: film, video, photography, installation, performance, text, sound. The artist has participated in numerous exhibitions: Documenta (13) in 2012, Biennials in Venice (in 2005, 2007 and 2009), Sydney (2006), Sharjah (2005) and Istanbul, among others. Awarded the Hugo Boss Prize of the Guggenheim Foundation and the Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennial in 2007, among others.

The installation “Embrace”, which reacts to the presence of the viewer, resembles an airport conveyor belt. The looped, self-contained cycle is devoid of any utilitarian function. The installation comments on the social and political conditions in which Palestinians live, both in the occupied territories and in the diaspora, as well as on the Israeli restrictions related to travelling and settling down in Palestine. The title is also a reference to the etymology of the word “embrace”, which means  “to hold someone closely in one’s arms”, but also “something that is holding or restricting someone”. The diameter of the conveyor belt – 179 centimetres – is exactly the artist’s height. The body is locked in a senseless circular movement of history, politics and law.

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