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Forbidden Film [Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ MMXI]

On Language, Ideology and Oppression - Call to Action

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This is a call to ignore the pathetic and debilitating terminology of partition and separation. The West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, 1948… these are all part of Historical Occupied Palestine. Whether it happened yesterday or 67 years ago, the dismantling of Palestine and its people is still an unacceptable crime, regardless of what a group of benefactor politicians say or decide in their ivory towers in New York, Geneva, Tel-Aviv, Ramallah, Oslo or Madrid. This jargon brought about by the United Nations, Oslo Accords, Palestinian National Authority, United States Government and the Zionist Establishment through resolutions and institutions, terminology and bureaucratic apparati is nothing but a rouse to maintain and reinforce a status-quo which has become the very meaning of disenfranchisement and fragmentation for Palestinians.

Hunger [Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ MMXIV]
Design in Context :: Party in the Cave (Shirt by Sahar Dreaat, project by Amani Sha’lan, Sahar Dreaat and Hassan Azmoty) Photography by Lucia Ahmad ©Lucia Ahmad MMXIIII Model Asma Ghanem
Baker Beach :: San Francisco [June MMXIV]
Plant District :: New York City
If you are a master hypocrite you can get a job here!
[United Nations Headquarters, New York City]
Cooper Union - NYC

Ramallah art show subverts ideas of Palestinian masculinity, statehood

To visit The Ceremonial Vniform, on display at the Birzeit University Museum until 20 June, is to walk through a unique experience exploring cultural history, identity politics and gender within Palestinian society, seen through the lens of clothing design.

The exhibition leads viewers through Jerusalem-based artist Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ’s processes and prototypes for designing a uniform for an imagined Palestinian state. Made in response to the Palestinian Authority’s 2012 United Nations statehood bid, the artist’s garments for male officers seek to reflect the “frenzied campaign” for statehood as well as subvert its masculine authority.

The critical themes of the show, which deconstruct notions of gender, identity and power in the Palestinian context, are thought-provoking and subversive, albeit slightly overbearing at times. Despite this, the show highlights the artist’s stunning craft and extensive research processes in creating his works.

Deconstructed space

The exhibition is unique in its complete deconstruction of not only the artist’s process, but also of the space of the gallery itself. A lowered ceiling and walls painted imperial blue create a space that feels less like a gallery and more like a workshop.

Adding to this ambiance are acrylic boards covered with taped-on images and notes which accompany each section of the exhibition, divided by time period or specific project.

The visualization of the research offers unique insight into the diverse sources that influenced the garment designs, ranging from Palestinian textile designs to iconic images of Leila Khaled to ornate military uniforms.

140612-meador-1.jpg

Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ, ”The Uniforms”: Palestinian garments intermixed with garments created by the artist.

The artist describes his initial research as concentrating on the masculine framing of the Palestinian male, manifest as “martyr, prisoner, fighter, worker, farmer, ‘terrorist’ and politician.” This is juxtaposed with the image of the Palestinian woman, often visualized in traditional embroidered thob (long dress), merely a reflection of her “male-derivative role as sister.”

In the most developed prototype of the designed uniform, the artist addresses these two motifs, using the bright colors of traditional female garments in a male outfit that appears grand and Elizabethan-inspired.

In a continued effort to display the undertaking of creating the works, behind the uniform hang textiles and garments that were formative to the final uniform. Some are traditional Palestinian garments, including the traditional female thob, and some are created by the artist. The garments are intermixed to blur the distinction between the two.

Heavy-handed

The exhibition features two ornately framed photographs, both named “The Official Portrait: Abu Zahair and Abu Saleh.” Each photograph features a man adorned in garments created by the artist and wearing traditional medals and ceremonials, such as a British General Service for Palestine Medal and a United Nations Medal for Palestine. Stylized in reference to European portraiture, each man sits amongst ornate decorations and wears the same set of women’s heels.

140612-meador-3.jpg

Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ, ”The Official Portrait”: deconstructing power, gender and notions of nationhood through dress and photography.

While visually stunning, the photographs’ subtlety are undercut in part by the verbose wall text accompanying the work. The work is described as a “mockery and derision of the inept Palestinian political establishment” for its mimicry of European models.

The outfits the men wear deconstruct the need for status symbols in places of power. The heels critique the notion of masculinity as central to the Palestinian struggle for sovereignty, a theme present throughout the show. The arguments are subversive and interesting but heavy-handed descriptions leave little room for personal interpretation.

Beautifully crafted

One of the most impressive pieces of the show is “The Talismanic Shirt,” a silk-screened garment that references both a traditional thob and traditional Islamic talismanic shirts worn for protection from evil. Printed on the garment is text from addresses at the UN by both Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, as well as symbols of the nation and militarism.

140612-meador-2.jpg

Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ, ”The Talismanic Shirt”: a reference to traditional Talismanic shirts, worn under regular garments as protection from evil.

Interlaced in a delicate geometry, the logo of the Palestinian Authority is patterned with icons of guns, tanks and helicopters to create an intricate design on the garment. The shirt visualizes the mainstream political discourse in Palestine, its redundancy and its ritualization. Printed on a talismanic shirt, it questions its efficacy as “protection” from evil.

Also on display are the screens created to print the shirt, made by hand in a three-week process. The screens, along with the other visualizations of the creative process, allow for an appreciation of the artist’s craft and technique.

Locally sourced

In addition to its extensive references to and use of Palestinian fabrics and techniques, the artist sourced materials from local craftspeople who are thus collaborators in the work. This includes shoemakers from Ramallah, mother-of-pearl carvers from Beit Sahour and embroiderers from Yatta and Beirut.

Impressive in its depth of exploration, The Ceremonial Vniform is made of visually stunning, beautifully crafted works. Beyond this, the body of work’s powerful criticality can be appreciated.

In challenging the power structures and status quo of contemporary Palestinian society, it forces viewers to deconstruct and rebuild an imaginary world, all through the lens of clothing construction.

Daryl Meador is a graduate student studying media at The New School who recently lived and volunteered in Nablus. Follow her on Twitter: @yalladaryl.

الفيديو الرسمي :: زي التشريفات - أبو صالح

تجربة ١

أثناء جلسة تصوير أبو زهير وأبو صالح، قرر المصمم والمصور تصويرهما بالفيديو أيضاً. لم يكن هناك هدف محدد أو فكرة واضحة في حينه حول كيف سيتم استخدام هذه اللقطات.

قرار استخدام اللقطات بشكلها الخام مع قليل من المونتاج جاء ليظهر للمشاهد صورة أقل تركيباً وأكثر بوحاً من الصورة الرسمية. يظهر الفيديو ارتباكاً وعدم راحة كما يظهر عملية التصوير غير الظاهرة في الصورة الرسمية. تعد اللقطات أيضاً كسجل لأنها وثقت الأصوات والضوضاء المحيطة بما في ذلك صوت كل من المصمم والمصور ومساعديهما خلال التصوير.

الخطابين اللذين تم دمجهما في الفيلمين هما: خطاب أبو عمار (ياسر عرفات) في الأمم المتحدة عام 1974، وخطاب أبو مازن (محمود عباس) في الأمم المتحدة عام 2011.

مونتاج: علاء أبو أسعد وفارس الشوملي. مساعد التصوير: وائل بطرس وديمتري حداد

The Official Video :: The Ceremonial Vniform - Abu Saleh

First Attempt

When the photos of Abu Zuhair and Abu Saleh were taken, the designer and photographer also decided to film both sitters. There was no clear intention or idea what the footage will be used for at the time.

The decision to use the footage in its raw form and with minimal editing was to show the viewer a less constructed image as the one in the portraits. The awkwardness, discomfort and process of photography concealed in The Official Portrait , is revealed here. The footage also serves as a record as it captures the surrounding sounds and noises as well as the voices of both the invisible photographer and designer and their assistants during the shoot.

The Speeches which were integrated into each film are Abu Ammar’s (Yasser Arafat) United Nations speech in 1974 and Abu Mazen’s (Mahmoud Abbas) United Nations speech in 2011.

The video was edited by Alaa Abu Asad and Faress Shomali (Palestine). Assistants on the photo-shoot were Wael Butrous and Dimitri Haddad (Lebanon).

Design in Context :: Autumn Stars (Shirt by Yusra Gazzazz, project by Yusra Gazzazz and Yara Al Khdour) Photography by Lucia Ahmad ©Lucia Ahmad MMXIIII Model Asma Ghanem

 

الفيديو الرسمي :: زي التشريفات - أبو زهير

تجربة ١

أثناء جلسة تصوير أبو زهير وأبو صالح، قرر المصمم والمصور تصويرهما بالفيديو أيضاً. لم يكن هناك هدف محدد أو فكرة واضحة في حينه حول كيف سيتم استخدام هذه اللقطات.

قرار استخدام اللقطات بشكلها الخام مع قليل من المونتاج جاء ليظهر للمشاهد صورة أقل تركيباً وأكثر بوحاً من الصورة الرسمية. يظهر الفيديو ارتباكاً وعدم راحة كما يظهر عملية التصوير غير الظاهرة في الصورة الرسمية. تعد اللقطات أيضاً كسجل لأنها وثقت الأصوات والضوضاء المحيطة بما في ذلك صوت كل من المصمم والمصور ومساعديهما خلال التصوير.

الخطابين اللذين تم دمجهما في الفيلمين هما: خطاب أبو عمار (ياسر عرفات) في الأمم المتحدة عام 1974، وخطاب أبو مازن (محمود عباس) في الأمم المتحدة عام 2011.

مونتاج: علاء أبو أسعد وفارس الشوملي. مساعد التصوير: وائل بطرس وديمتري حداد 

 

The Official Video :: The Ceremonial Vniform - Abu Zuhair
First Attempt

 

 

When the photos of Abu Zuhair and Abu Saleh were taken, the designer and photographer also decided to film both sitters. There was no clear intention or idea what the footage will be used for at the time.

 

The decision to use the footage in its raw form and with minimal editing was to show the viewer a less constructed image as the one in the portraits. The awkwardness, discomfort and process of photography concealed in The Official Portrait , is revealed here. The footage also serves as a record as it captures the surrounding sounds and noises as well as the voices of both the invisible photographer and designer and their assistants during the shoot.

 

The Speeches which were integrated into each film are Abu Ammar’s (Yasser Arafat) United Nations speech in 1974 and Abu Mazen’s (Mahmoud Abbas) United Nations speech in 2011.

 

The video was edited by Alaa Abu Asad and Faress Shomali (Palestine). Assistants on the photo-shoot were Wael Butrous and Dimitri Haddad (Lebanon).

 

جلنار :: نوار الرمان
Pvnica granatvm
Allenby Bridge 13/05/2014



-I remember you.

 

Sorry?

 

-I remember you, you were the one who asked me the STUPID questions about my friends the last time I came.

 

PAUSE

 

Well then, there is no need to explain this.

 

-No.

 

What is the purpose of your visit to Israel (Palestine)?

 

-I live here.

 

DO you have KHA(خ)awieh?

 

-Yes I do.

 

Where is it?

 

-It here in my passport, page 8.

 

No, where is your KHA(خ)awieh?

 

-I do NOT carry my ID when I travel; my ID number is in my passport, on the residency visa.

 

Where were you before?

 

-In London.

 

What were you doing in London?

 

-I was visiting friends.

 

What are the names of your friends?

 

- !!  (Names omitted here).

 

What else did you do?

 

-I visited museums.

 

What museums?

 

-The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum…..

 

What else did you do in London.

 

- !! I saw friends, I DRANK, I ATE, I WATCHED FILMS, I FUCKED…..

 

Did anyone give you any…..bla bla bla….?

 

-No.

 

Do you have any weapons with you or anything that might look like a weapon?

 

-No, I just came through security…..

 

 

End.
Design in Context :: Student’s embroidery sample (Maysa).