Magazine article Artforum International

Rosalind Nashashibi: Murray Guy

Magazine article Artforum International

Rosalind Nashashibi: Murray Guy

Article excerpt

Rosalind Nashashibi

MURRAY GUY

"To remember, one must imagine," art historian Georges Didi-Huberman once wrote. Rosalind Nashashibi's films task the viewer with considering this inescapable problem of memory: The recollection of an event is always corrupted by the mind that calls it forth. She often exaggerates or otherwise lays bare the unreliable mechanisms of imaginative reconstitution, interjecting documentary footage with staged elements (Jack Straw's Castle, 2009) or restaging scenes of others' work (The Prisoner, 2008; Carlo's Vision, 2011). At times, she points up the tainted products of memory; at others, she provides those details that memory elides.

"Two Tribes," Nashashibi's second solo exhibition at Murray Guy, felt like something of a double bind. In the first of two rooms was a neat modernist hang comprising ten paintings in gouache on paper or oil on canvas of vaguely biomorphic forms that range in hue from sooty periwinkle and mustard to the more abject colors of viscera. These paintings are fresh and strange--Zero Care, 2016, calls to mind a strawberry whose fibers have been magnetically pulled from its flesh-but they are confounding for anyone familiar with the filmmaker, who has only once before exhibited paintings, in a group show at Kunstverein, Munich, last year. Here, the paintings served a function outside themselves, bracketing the viewer's access to a second room in which the film Electrical Gaza, 2015, had its US premiere.

Electrical Gaza, which runs nearly eighteen minutes long, documents the Gaza Strip just before the "Operation Protective Edge" bombardment of July and August 2014--the most recent of several attacks since 2008--when more than two thousand Palestinians and seventy-two Israelis were killed, most of them civilians and nearly five hundred of them children. Nashashibi splices together scenes of quotidian life in refugee camps and in the city of Rafah, site of one of the two remaining gateways out of Gaza, both of which have been closed since the bombardment. Nearly two million people are locked in; Israel restricts the movement of bodies and food, airspace and waterways, electricity. …

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