DUBAI: Palestinian — American artist Jordan Nassar’s ‘For Your Eyes,’ is at The Third Line in Dubai from Jan 16 — Feb 27.
For his Dubai exhibition, his first in the Gulf, Palestinian-American artist Jordan Nassar collaborated with craftswomen in Hebron to produce hand-embroidered works that, the gallery says, “juxtapose local traditions of making with Jordan’s western painterly aesthetic.” The “incongruous” result, the press release adds, “embodies the contrast between what Jordan refers to as his ‘Palestinian-ness’ with his out-of-place feeling while in Palestine.”
“For Your Eyes”
The works on display are all named after songs by Umm Kulthum. “For Your Eyes,” Nassar explains, is actually an Arabic phrase meaning “something along the lines of” ‘just for you,’ but the literal translation fails to capture its true significance. The failure of translation to convey cultural meanings is an important influence on Nassar’s work.
“My Beloved Tendered Back”
In pieces like this one, the way the embroidery complements Nassar’s multicolored “kaleidoscopic panoramas” — a collision of two cultures and styles — shows that the artist has, perhaps, successfully resolved the conflicting emotions he feels as a member of the diaspora.