I’m planning to produce new artistic work with multimedia outputs based on my observation and contemporary issues in my current life. I’m watching myself, my behavior and reactions to start writing any changes and highlight any possibilities or the case of those issues that will be translated visually, I tend to the (Conceptual) since it’s optimized to express such cases, whether the result is layouts, graphics, sculptures, performance, or even composition and photographs.
I also work on the production of the project belongs to the neo-realism, where I wrote a character (A creature combines human, animal and puppets) to express cases which tell solutions and assumptions for many cases accepted by humans and additional and miraculous senses which take us back through that character that will work to find solutions that that will reflect the intuition that I feel sometimes.
I worked the previous period to produce art and interactive projects from my environment which is under the circumstances of wars, siege and occupation. I’ve achieved a multi-visual and technical media project provides a visual and cynical solution to get rid of the crisis of transportation manufactured by blockade and political isolation in the Gaza Strip, where many vehicles and new cultures have appeared with the increase of environmental pollution, and introduced an illustrative map of the network of Metro rail lines underground and wandered with real anthropomorphic output (synthesizer work) and illuminated map of the entrances to metro stations according to the points on the virtual map, and I took photos of these scenes with the public reaction to it.
Another record of mine to the evolution of the case of the effect of the absence of basic energy sources through meditation and recording unfamiliar dark scenes for several stages that show how people surrender and adapt to these changes for the sake of the continuation of their lives by using alternatives to provide light and energy.
My output is almost graphic expressions, which I produced a long series came from experiencing a symbolic plant, that reflected its shape, composition, fruit and blossoms on my paintings, I was interested in color, its abundance and diversification in all my experiences. On the other hand, I produced another series which tend to the abstraction by using only the black color and deal with it as a multi-level color whether drawing characters, items, or even abstract forms.
I began my art project since I was a child, where I used to love to redraw the international paintings and take photos of all what I see which contain more details, with a great love to experience and have a look at many techniques and artwork, then I got to know the history of art and technical schools gradually, I did not study art As an academic major, but I worked hard to develop my abilities and worked on myself and searched for more opportunities like to join workshops of art in the Arab world or globally to gain greater knowledge and take feedback of those who have the ability to read the artwork after subtracting and displaying my work until I believed in self-searching through the development of fonts and colors by addressing topics from the core of my interests and my daily concerns.
Marion Slitine : "À travers une étude ethnographique des jeunes artistes plasticiens et des agents culturels (collectionneurs, commissaires, intermédiaires, etc.) des territoires palestiniens et de la diaspora, ma thèse interroge les dynamiques politiques et transculturelles de ces mondes de l’art palestinien : le tournant des accords d’Oslo sur la scène et la création artistiques, l’émergence d’un marché de l’art arabe, la mondialisation de la scène artistique et ses réseaux diasporiques, mais aussi la transformation du rapport des artistes face à la question nationale."
À droite, une photo de l'installation "Un metro à Gaza" de l'artiste gazaoui, Mohammed Abusal. Jérusalem, septembre 2012. À gauche, une carte tirée de cette installation qui propose un système de transport qui relierait la Cisjordanie, Gaza et Jérusalem.
Whenever there is traffic congestion in Gaza, Abu Sall thinks of a metro station sign. It would be perfect if such an underground station was built to transport people, their children and baggage to their destinations! Such a project would entail having power generators, the driving force behind such a metro station, as well as high standards of cleanliness, order, punctuality and passenger safety. These elements should still be in place despite the raids, people’s poverty, and the intensification of the blockade. Abu Sall’s musings are a product of a momentary, dreamlike and visionary state, brought on by his being in the very spot where he envisions a metro sign.
Mohammed Abu Sall proposes a network of seven metro lines to connect the different areas of Gaza Strip. Line number 1, or the Green Line, stretches in a straight line, passes along many stations and extends along the Gaza Strip, connecting the Erez checkpoint with the Rafah crossing. A line of this sort would need to be direct, central and fast in order to enable the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to arrive to the main crossings as early as possible. Travellers on Line 1 would be able to change at a central station in the heart of the Strip so that they could then use Line 2 or Line 3. These lines would be winding so that they could reach the areas to the right and left of the Gaza Strip. They would also pass through most of the cities and the main areas of the Gaza Strip, reaching the border cities or the other crossings, including Jabalia, Al-Shate’, Al-Breij, Al- Maghazi, Al-Nseirat, Deir Al Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah. These would be the stations in the proposed metro system and they are also the refugee camps which bear witness to a lot of comings and goings as the population there can reach up to 55 thousand inhabitants per square kilometre.
The Second Line begins from the coast but terminates at the Philadelphia Route, (which extends along the Egypt-Gaza border), at two stations called Al Anfaq A and Al Anfaq B. These are also known as the Commercial Anfaq (tunnels) and are used to smuggle people and goods alike from and to the rest of the world. The two lines running along the coast: line number 6 (in blue) coming from the north and number 5 (in pink) and coming from the south, traverse the whole of the Strip from its narrowest point to the East of Al Maghazi by passing through the central station. In the event that the airport is rebuilt, then line number 7, (in black) would be responsible for transporting passengers to the airport, and passing by the stations of all three crossings as well as many other areas.
To that end, Abu Sall makes an illuminated metro sign in the form of a large, red electric pole and at the top he affixes a large letter M. He wavered between using the Latin letter ‘M’ as a sign for the metro and arabizing it and using the Arabic letter ‘ã’. However, there is no distinct meaning attached to the Arabic letter ‘ã’ neither in the Arab collective memory, Arab culture nor local culture for that matter which would tie it in with a mode of transport. He therefore decided to use the international symbol ‘M’ with the words ‘metro station’ written on an illuminated plate underneath it. He sets off to fix this sign wherever he imagines the metro stations should be. He hesitates after having been warned by some advisers that he may come under suspicion from the Israeli surveillance teams who may mistake his ‘Metro’ pole for a rocket which could be used to launch an attack on nearby settlements. He will discover that it is impossible to carry an iron pole and to roam around freely, despite its being an artistic project. He will also come to the realisation that if he ventures to do this, a dreadful bomb attack could befall the area, endangering the safety of the artist as well as that of the locations he dreams will become the metro sites.
In a move akin to a freedom fighter’s military operation, Abu Sall fixes his only metro sign beside gardens, a petrol station, a thoroughfare, a market, at the entrance to the city, at the site of a new development, near the beach, in front of a poster about freed prisoners, in Victor Hugo Street, in front of a primary school, near boats, in front of sweet shops, amusement parks and at tunnel exits. These locations would become the imaginary metro line which would connect all these places together in accordance with the days allocated for the photography shoot and his time. He used photography to document all these stations as well as the public’s interest in approaching the stations and their responses to them. There were two photography sessions: one during the daytime and another at night. After 13 hours of field work, this assignment, which according to the artist was interesting, tiring and full of surprises, came to an end. Despite his having authorization from the Ministry of Information, he was unable to photograph in the places which he had planned to. With only a mixture of reactions: positive, funny, naive and pessimistic from the members of the public, who had to imagine at that moment what it would mean to have a train moving underground in Gaza, Abu Sall was able to document what it would mean to have a metro for some members of the public. Abu Sall’s project is a daring, critical and scathing comment on what is deemed permissible in terms of technology and civilisation in Gaza today.
Mohamed Abusal was born in Gaza in 1976. Although a graduate in finance and management, he retrained as an artist in 2000 and attended many workshops and has undertaken much research to develop and refine his artistic skills.
Since 2000, he has worked at a prolific rate producing daring and innovative work which has attracted great publicity and garnered much critical acclaim. Projects have included Metro in Gaza (2012) and Shambar (2013) – both of which are great concepts comprising installations, designs and photographs -that deal with the reality in besieged Gaza and envisioning a brighter future – a future that is not only plausible but a fundamental human right.
Painting remains his first love and it is where he retreats to recharge and create beautiful work.
Mohammed Abusal has exhibited extensively around the world over the last decade, notably in France, where he has held several solo exhibitions, in addition to the US, UK, Australia, and Dubai. In 2005 he was awarded the Charles Aspry Prize for Contemporary Art. He is a founding member of Eltiqa an active group of contemporary artists that came together in 2002.
Abusal’s stoic manner and diligent approach - in style and technique - make him one of Palestine’s brightest talents.
Und völlig ironisch schließlich das "A Metro in Gaza"-Projekt von Mohamed Abusal, das er im Lichte des Kriegs fortgeführt hat. Die Tunnel, die ja den Ausgangspunkt für seine metaphorische U-Bahn in Gaza bildeten, haben im letzen Sommer als "Terrortunnel" eine neue Schicht von sinistren Konnotationen dazugewonnen. Mancher Betrachter muss lauthals loslachen, da die Tunnel nun Metroeingänge und Sperrschranken bekommen haben – so absurd ist die Vorstellung von Normalität in Gaza.
Ironisch kommt das "A Metro in Gaza"-Projekt von Mohamed Abusal daher, das dieser im Lichte des Krieges fortgeführt hat. Die Tunnel, die ja den Ausgangspunkt für seine metaphorische U-Bahn in Gaza bildeten, haben im letzen Sommer als "Terrortunnel" eine neue Schicht von sinistren Konnotationen dazugewonnen. (Foto: Pepe Egger)