Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean

Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean

Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University

Exhibition view, Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean, including Lydd Ruins and Untitled (St. George Church), 2009.
October 29, 2012
Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean

September 20–December 9, 2012

Artist Talk and Catalogue Launch: October 30, 6pm

Rose Art Museum
Brandeis University
415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University presents 100 Steps to the Mediterranean, a solo exhibition of photography and video installations by Dor Guez, one of the most compelling emerging artists in the Middle East.  Featuring selected works from his series “Lydd Ruins”, “The Monayer Family”, “The Nation’s Groves”, “SABIR”, and “Scanograms”, the exhibition is the artist’s most comprehensive to date and his first major museum show in the United States. Guez will speak in conjunction with the exhibition catalogue launch on October 30 at 6pm. The exhibition is on view through December 9.

Guez takes as his overt subject the Christian Arab minority in Israel, a community marginalized by the prevailing meta-narratives of both Arabs and Israelis. Guez’s work addresses gaps in these narratives while exploring contemporary art’s role in raising questions about history, nationality, ethnicity, and personal identity.

Guez conveys the Christian Arab experience using a variety of photographic and video techniques, emphasizing their abilities to record and document as well as to manipulate and influence. His photographs range from scanned archival images to romantic, nocturnal landscapes to arrestingly beautiful lightboxes. His videos intermingle documentary, testimonial, and experimental filmmaking techniques into poignant yet unresolved narratives. The scale of the works in the Rose installation will shift from intimate to monumental, the lighting from meditative to cinematic. By seamlessly integrating distinct forms of representation, Guez invites audiences to participate in different ways of seeing, and therefore, in different ways of knowing and understanding the complexities of the Middle East today.

At the center of 100 Steps to the Mediterranean are four videos portraying one family, the Monayers—the artist’s Christian Arab grandparents and their children and grandchildren. In these videos, Guez’s camera remains primarily static, placing the viewer in close physical proximity to each family member as they dwell on their multifaceted identities, argue with one another, and consider, then reconsider, their places in Israeli society and the Arab world. The editing and sequencing of the videos, in which critical events and conversations often occur off-camera, manifest the family’s ambivalent societal status, generational differences, and individual fortitude.

The exhibition encourages rumination on the politics of place as well. The family videos are bookended by renderings of four sites in Israel: the ruins of the pre-1948 Palestinian city of al-Lydd, now Lod; the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Lod; a nearby Israeli national park, Ben Shemen Forest; and the Mediterranean shore in Jaffa. These places are layered with meaning for the Monayers, and the artist’s subtly different visual approaches connect them to broader national and ethnic discourses.

Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean is co-curated by Gannit Ankori, professor of Art History and Theory, chair in Israeli Art, and Dabney Hailey, director of academic programs, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University. An illustrated catalogue with essays by the curators, artist, and Samir Srouji, a Boston architect and artist, will be launched on October 30 at the Rose in conjunction with a public talk by the artist at 6pm.

About the artist
Guez was born in Jerusalem in 1980. He lives and works in Tel Aviv. His work has been featured in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Petach Tikva Museum of Art in Israel, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the 17th Videobrasil in São Paolo, the 12th Istanbul Biennale and the Jewish Museum in New York. Guez is the Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist in Residence at Brandeis University and the 2012 International Artist in Residence at Artpace in San Antonio, Texas.

Guez is a lecturer in the History and Theory Department at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, and a researcher affiliated with Tel Aviv University. In 2009 he established the Christian Palestinian Archive, the first archive devoted to this minority across the Middle East.
Press inquiries: Nina J. Berger, [email protected] / T 617 543 1595


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Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University
October 29, 2012

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