John Halaka: Landscapes of Desire

Image: Remember. C-01 (2009) [detail], ink and rubber stamped ink on canvas

Aug. 13 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014
Main Floor Gallery 

The exhibition features 23 pieces — most in large scale — from the series Landscapes of Desire, created between 2009 and 2013 by California-based Palestinian American artist John Halaka. The metaphorical landscapes are inspired by the ruins of Palestinian villages and homes that have been destroyed since 1948. The images were produced with rubber stamped words that define the forms, textures and tones of the landscapes. The repeated stamping of the words creates a visual mantra that compels the viewer to “remember,” “resist,” “return,” and “rebuild” while preparing to “forgive.”

John Halaka is an activist-artist whose creative work serves as a vehicle for meditation on personal, cultural and political concerns. He creates images that raise questions, for himself as well as for the viewer, about some of the pressing issues of our time. His experiences as an artist of Palestinian descent shape his pictorial investigations of cycles of repression and displacement as well as the personal and political relationship between desire, denial and instability. His recent work in both painting and documentary filmmaking investigates issues of identity construction from personal, familial and political perspectives.

  • August 13, 2013 - January 5, 2014