beirut art center is proud to present affiliations, a solo exhibition by palestinian artist emily jacir. the exhibition includes four interventions created between 2000 and 2009: where we come from,sexy semite, untitled (servees), and stazione.
in where we come from (2001-2003), jacir asked fellow palestinians “if i could do anything for you, anywhere in palestine, what would it be?”; she then used her american passport to carry out each request. from paying a phone bill at a post office in jerusalem to placing flowers on a mothers’ grave, where we come from documents jacir’s attempt to fulfill the requests she received from palestinians who are prohibited entry into their own homeland and/or who are restricted movement within it. this piece could no longer be realized today as palestinians who hold american and european passports are regularly denied entry into the country by israeli authorities and are no longer granted freedom of movement once inside.
in sexy semite (2000 – 2002) jacir asked Palestinians to place personal ads in the village voice seeking jewish mates as a way to return home utilizing Israel’s “law of return”. in a humorous and sarcastic way, the work points to the fact that Palestinians who are indigenous to the land do not have the right to return to their own country while any Jew on earth, from any country, of any race, has the right to “return”.
untitled (servees) is a site-specific audio work from 2008 located at the Damascus gate in jerusalem. it harkens back to a period of unfettered mobility and exchange while pointing to the present-day fragmentation and disruption of Palestinian daily life and urban fabric.
stazione (2009), a public intervention slated to take place at the 53rd Venice biennale, was to have been situated on each of the 24 vaporetti stops along route #1 of the water bus route. jacir translated the names of each station into Arabic and planned to place the Arabic translations on all the stops next to their Italian counterparts. the Arabic inscriptions were meant to place each floating platform in direct dialogue with the surrounding architecture and urban design, thereby linking them with various elements of Venice’s shared heritage with the Arab world. stazione was abruptly cancelled by venetian municipal authorities.