I can Imagine You Without Your Home 2012

This sense of up rootedness is manifested in the physical elements of Harb's installation that gives his most recent exhibition its title. Here, we find a five-piece mattress installation that is representative of the remains of a group of Palestinian who have fled their country of birth and origin. Transposed to a state of perpetual and roaming exile, Harb recalls how one would traditionally observe people rolling up their mattresses when fleeing conflict. This, the artist believes, represents the simultaneous feeling of instability and mobility. It can also be said that this desire to maintain objects of comfort throughout periods of severe trauma is a desire by everyday Gazans and Palestinians to carry a sense of 'home' with them, regardless of where their displacement may have taken them. The artist's installation sees the mattresses rolled up -- occupying a physical gallery space, yet, on this occasion, without the human figures to carry them. The bare object hood of the mattresses in a gallery or museological context loads the sculptures with poignancy. Is all that remains of home a piece of rolled up foam? Stripped of their agency, and of their comfort, these mattresses sit like relics of a discombobulating social condition.
Omar Kholeif

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