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Art Dubai 2012 | Jumana Manna | Mar 21-24
CRG Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Jumana Manna, a Palestinian artist who lives between Jerusalem, Los Angeles and Oslo and works primarily with video and sculpture/installation. Influenced by her peripatetic existence, Manna’s work explores the construction of human identity in relation to national narratives, through portraits of morally dubious characters and events.
Manna’s sculpture/installation works take interest in the formations of community, patriarchy and journeys, in which the objects are de-bunked from their original function and re-presented at a state of abjection or negation. With Wanderers (2011), Manna creates a four-person sleeping bag from military felt blankets. Based on a 1950’s custom-made object for a flight traveling from Scandinavia to Los Angeles over the North Pole, after being banned from Soviet air traffic during the Cold War; Manna’s re-creation of this object in felt, alludes to bodily warmth and survival tactics in temporary dwellings.
Also on display is Manna’s For Those Who Like The Smell of Burning Tires (2009), previously standing as a public sculpture outside Kunsthall Oslo, consists of three 8 meter aluminum flagpoles, bent with a hydraulic press. These flagpoles, formerly designated as bearers of national celebration, now stand limp and disfigured as an derelict monument, with the missing flags still present as absence. Manna’s title connotes a certain sense of pleasant, aestheticized riot and gently sensed violence. Recurring in Manna’s work is the implication that identities– whether defined by gender, by geopolitical allegiances, or by national identities–are constantly dissolving into deterioration and reinvention in turn.
Manna ‘s work is in the collection of the Essl Museum, Austria.