A Palestinian born in Kuwait and based in the UAE, much of Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s work deals with how his identity is shaped in a context of inaccessibility and loss. In many of his photographs, the artist is dwarfed by a vast desert landscape, reconstructing allegories for the obstacles, barricades and walls erected in the Occupied Territories.
The book includes a foreword by Jack Persekian as well as multiple commissioned essays by several key writers: Hamid Dabashi, Emily Jacir, Suzanne Cotter, Antonia Carver and Kevin Mitchell, and contains biographies of the artist and contributors.
About the Artist
Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s position as a Palestinian-Kuwaiti shapes the dominant themes of identity, displacement and politico-structural control prominent in his work, which is comprised of photographs that often feature his figure silhouetted against barren landscapes and thus serving as a partial allegory for the obstacles and forms of control facing Palestinians and the diaspora, as well as troubling Western representations of Arabs as terrorists.
Other series use the desert as a stage for investigating the artist’s relationship to land and place, and are done amidst the rapid urban transformation of the United Arab Emirates. In the words of Sabine Vogel, his work “”goes beyond the specific,”” and “”transforms direct political references into the existentially universal.”” Transfigurations was published in collaboration with the Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, coinciding with a solo exhibition at the Gallery in 2014.
About the Publishers
Based in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia, Page One Publishing was founded in 1998 and creates exceptional lifestyle and business content for audiences who want to be inspired, informed and on-trend.
The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) was founded in 2007 through the initiative of Arab cultural activists as an independent foundation to support individual artists, writers, researchers, intellectuals and organisations working in the field of arts and culture. Since its launch, AFAC’s programmes have expanded to cover cinema, photography, visual and performing arts, creative and critical writings and music and documentary films, in addition to funding research, training and cultural events.