Picasso in Palestine · 22.01.24 · 7.30PM @filmhuisMechelen · Mechelen

Tickets will be sold at habitual prices. Proceeds from the screening will be donated to Ashtar Theater Ramallah.

Picasso in Palestine

Khaled Hourani, 2011, 52′

In English, with English subtitles

In June 2011, Pablo Picasso’s iconic work Buste de Femme (1943, part of the Van Abbemuseum collection) undertook a journey from Eindhoven to Ramallah, where it was exhibited for three weeks. Preceding this border-crossing loan agreement were two years of extensive research and negotiations in the legal, artistic and administrative fields. Khaled Hourani, a Palestinian artist living and working in Ramallah, was at the time, the artistic director of the International Academy of Art Palestine, where Buste de Femme was exhibited. A special room was constructed in the space of the Academy, to secure the required climactic conditions for the painting. The negotiations, transport and exhibition of Picasso’s Buste de Femme and documentation of the entire process constitute the art work Picasso in Palestine, imagined and undertaken by Khaled Hourani. Picasso in Palestine raises myriad questions about the recognition of Palestine as an independent and sovereign state by structures of the global economy (insurance companies, shipping companies, etc.) and foregrounds the mechanics of the on-going Israeli occupation. It also raises questions about systems of control, access to knowledge, museography, the value and funding of art and the role of the media.

Khaled Hourani was born in Hebron in 1965, he is an artist, curator and educator who lives and works in Ramallah. He is the co-founder of the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah and the initiator of the 2011 Picasso in Palestine project. The school borrowed and exhibited Picasso’s Buste de Femme, 1943, from the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, exhibiting it in Ramallah and documenting the first time that such a Modernist masterpiece had made such a journey. He has curated and organized several exhibitions such as the Young Artist of the Year Award in 2000 and 2002, for the A.M. Qattan Foundation. He was the curator of the Palestinian pavilion for the São Paolo Biennal, in Brazil, in 2004, and the 21st Alexandria Biennale, in Egypt, in 2001. He also served as an Artistic Advisor for Liminal Spaces in 2006. He writes critically in the field of art and is an active member and founder of several cultural and art institutions. Recently he was awarded the Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change.

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