Picasso in Palestine

Last year I travelled to the West Bank to witness and take part in an event. This event was the bringing of a painting by Pablo Picasso from an art museum in the Netherlands to an especially constructed one room art museum at the small International Art Academy in Ramallah. There are no art museums in the West Bank, which is an area that continues to be occupied by Israel. Although the international transportation of art is a normal thing, expensive works of art are never transported to  the West Bank, they have no where to go. This meant that not only was the movement and display of the Picasso painting a difficult task, it also gained some notoriety and media attention. It also highlighted the abnormality of life for Palestinians under occupation. For the organisers of the event, which they named ‘Picasso in Palestine’, the transportation of the painting was not just about art, it was a way of using art to highlight a deeply political situation. It was also a project that defined a point where curatorial practices met with art practice. There are a lot of things to be said about this project, some of them potentially critical. For a rich commentary on this subject see Michael Baers’ articles on the  e-flux website: part 1 and part 2.

Simon

Picasso painting with over-the-top security, Ramallah, June 2010

Picasso painting with over-the-top security, Ramallah, June 2010

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About Art Theory and Practice

BA Contemporary Art History Manchester School of Art http://www.mmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2012/9406/

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