By Romana Rubeo
‘If Only This Mountain between us Could Be Ground to Dust’ is the first exhibition by Palestinian artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme in a major US museum.
Curated by Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, the exhibition combines a site-specific installation of the artists’ ongoing multimedia projects with a commissioned work created specifically for the Art Institute of Chicago, which will host it until January 3, 2022.
Central to the exhibition is a multimedia installation that combines two video works. The first one, ‘Oh Shining Star Testify’ is centered on CCTV footage taken from a surveillance camera and gone viral online, when 14-year-old Yusuf Shawamreh was killed by Israeli forces in March 2014.
The second video, ‘At those Terrifying Frontiers where the Existence and Disappearance of People Fade into Each Other’, uses excerpts from Palestinian intellectual Edward Said’s writing “After the Last Sky”, mixed with human avatars created from images of demonstrators in the Great March of Return.
Abbas and Abou-Rahme aim at reframing and activating “narratives that they describe as everyday erasures of Palestinian experience as a means of resisting the illusion of one immutable history”.
(All Photos: Aidan Fitzpatrick, Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)