Doris Arkin: Pietà
As in a close relay race of memory bearers, from the private and local to the communal and universal, Doris Arkin’s works take their place in the hall, which previously housed those of the great “watchman,” Walid Abu Shakra— the most spiritual, abundant and influential cornerstone of Palestinian art and culture. This symbolic alliance is meaningful to both the hosts and the guest in this gallery. It resonates and is well implied between the works of the two artists.
“Pieta” is a tightly knit, total exhibition through and through. It features a calculated cluster of idiosyncratic works, selected a-priori and specifically for display at the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery. From the very first step in the heart of the human inferno to the place of abstention and grace of the pietà, visitors to the exhibition are invited on a journey—a journey of contemplation and consciousness in a world shrouded in imaginary darkness, beneath the showy and misleading surface of our time.
Interspersed along the world’s stations of misery represented here are “trial chairs”—”mantras” of sorts or guard posts, in which the viewer can sit and reflect on each of the world’s most unthinkable crimes. At the same time, in the journey to expose the inferno of collective memory, Arkin implores the viewer to remember the Book of Deuteronomy (30:11–14): “It is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, […] Neither is it beyond the sea, […] But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”
Photos: Meidad Suchowolski
The exhibition and catalogue were conceived as part of the art platform Parasite Diana Dallal