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Emily Jacir is a Palestinian artist. Born in Bethlehem, Jacir spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia, and then attended high school in Italy. She also graduated with an art degree from the Memphis College of Art. She divides her time between Rome, Italy and Ramallah, the West Bank Palestinian city.
Jacir works in a variety of media including film, photography, installation, performance, video, writing and sound. She has exhibited extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East since 1994, holding solo exhibitions in places including New York, Los Angeles, Ramallah, Beirut, London and Linz.
Active in the building of Ramallah's art scene since 1999, Jacir has also worked with various organizations including the Qattan Foundation, al-Ma'mal Foundation and the Sakakini Cultural Center. She has been involved in creating numerous projects and events such as Birzeit's Virtual Art Gallery. She also founded and curated the first International Video Festival in Ramallah in 2002, and works as a full-time instructor at the International Academy of Art in Ramallah. Emily Jacir was appointed director of Ashkal Alwan's Home Workspace Program, a 10 months educational program for the inauguration 2011-2012 year.
• On 17 October 2007 she won the 'Leone d'Oro a un artista under 40' - (Golden Lion for artists under 40), - at the 52nd Venice Biennale for "a practice that takes as its subject exile in general and the Palestinian issue in particular. Without recourse to exoticism, the work on display in the central Pavilion at the Giardini establishes and expands a crossover between cinema, archival documentation, narrative and sound".
• She was the recipient of the 2007 Prince Claus Award, an annual prize from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, Hague, which described Jacir as "an exceptionally talented artist whose works seriously engage the implications of conflict."
• She is the winner of the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The Jury noted that she won the award for her "rigorous conceptual practice—comprising photography, video, performance, and installation-based work—bears witness to a culture torn by war and displacement. As a member of the Palestinian diaspora, she comments on issues of mobility (or the lack thereof), border crises, and historical amnesia through projects that unearth individual narratives and collective experiences."
Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages Destroyed, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948 (2001)
Where We Come From (2001-2003) Jacir, holder of an American passport, asked more than 30 Palestinians living both abroad and within the occupied territories: “If I could do anything for you, anywhere in Palestine, what would it be?” She collected responses and carried out tasks in an extended performance of wish fulfillment by proxy. The documented result was shown in New York to great critical acclaim; "Where We Come From is [Jacirs] best so far. An art of cool Conceptual surfaces and ardent, intimate gestures, intensely political and beyond polemic, it adds up to one of the most moving gallery exhibitions I've encountered this season." The work was acquired by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,which added an extra text to Jacirs work.
Crossing Surda, 2003 (a record of going to and from work), exists because an Israeli soldier threatened me and put an M-16 into my temple. [Ms. Jacir says she was filming her feet with a video camera at a checkpoint that day.] If I had not had this direct threatening experience this piece would not exist."
Accumulations (2005): An extrapolation of the issues of identity from the specifics of experience, like her renewal and extension of what might be called classic Conceptual Art
Stazione (2009) In 2009, Jacir participated in the Venice Biennale in the Palestinian Pavilion. She created a site-specific public project to take place in Venice during the Biennale. The Venice City Authorities shut down Jacir's project and refused to allow it to take place. "Significant by its absence at the Venice Biennale was Emily Jacir's contribution to the official off-site exhibition, 'Palestine c/o Venice'. Jacir's artwork, Stazione, would have seen all of the piers for the Route 1 water bus (the vaporetto that runs up and down the Grand Canal) display the stop location names in Arabic as well as the usual Italian. Mockups were made, the Biennale approved, the council approved and the vaporetto company that runs Route 1 approved. Then suddenly it didn't. Apparently the vaporetto company stopped the project, and all the artist could find out, second-hand, was that they had 'received pressure from an outside source to shut it down for political reasons'."
MUSEUMS where her work has been shown:
Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, Italy, n
Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah
Modern Art Oxford
Museum of Modern Art in New York
Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco
Whitney Museum of American Art
CCS Hessel Museum of Contemporary Art at Bard College
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University
"Emily Jacir", Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Jacir (Accessed 02/07/2013)
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