The Silk Line of Identity

Hazem Harb

The Silk Line of Identity, 2020

Layers of collaged archival fine art C-P photography on MDF wood



Tabari Artspace


Price: 60,000 USD

About The Work

Palestinian traditional dress is marked by its rich patterns of embroidery which are unique to a single community. The specificity of local village designs was such that a Palestinian woman's village could be determined by the embroidery design on her dress. The design exhibited in The Silk Line of Identity signifies Bethlehem. The photograph, which was produced towards the end of the 1800s, is rare in that the model is poised which was not typical practice at the time. For this arresting large-scale diptych Harb has reformatted the photograph placing it back into the contemporary moment. The artist has sliced and collaged it, forming an unprecedented pattern which recalls its roots in Palestinian heritage and the mechanics of embroidery. The model, fixed to the centre comes to form a monument imposed upon the landscape, the notion of which preoccupies Harb and features regularly as an icon in his imagery. 

About Hazem Harb

Visual artist Hazem Harb, always referring to his own Palestinian identity, takes a research-driven approach, moving beyond the limitations of verbal languge and photojournalism to create a physical representation of multi-faceted social issues. His collages examine the nuances and problems surrounding shifting borders, displacement and diaspora. Intelligent, philosophical, and visually impactful Harb’s creative process reflects the artist’s commitment to making a real connection with his collective past while resisting its systematic erasure. The artist works in an underlying register, his works primarily concerned with the historical past of his country and its place in the current day. Harb’s use of collage allows him to construct a discourse that did not previously exist or was at least hidden. The artist imbeds old photographs and archival objects within his works, often rare pieces of the past that he cuts and inserts into conceptual compositions. Both the result and the approach relay a hidden story, the use of genuine historical sources summoning the past to the present - a solution proposed by Harb to reaffirm and reestablish the cultural and physical existence of his people.

Tabari Artspace

Located in Dubai, sixteen years ago the gallery embarked upon an ambitious programme with the aim of cultivating an international community centred around contemporary Middle Eastern art. Tabari Artspace played a pivotal role in establishing the Middle Eastern masters that are collected and exhibited internationally today. The gallery continues to honour these masters while introducing a new generation of artists that have matured in an era of technology, globalisation, and unprecedented socio-political issues. In 2017 the gallery rebranded from Artspace Dubai to Tabari Artspace.

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