Maria Saleh Mahameed
Curator: Dorit Ringart
20 Oct — 15 December, 2018
Exhibition in the 21st Nidbach series
Maria Saleh Mahameed prefers large, scroll-like formats. In her work Umm al-Fahm (2016, charcoal on canvas), Saleh Mahameed drew the iconic seated figure in profile quoted from Tsibi Geva’s paintings of the same name (1983, acrylic on canvas), adding an additional feminine figure with long hair, wearing a pleated skirt. This is how the artist depicts herself – in a concise, decisive line drawing. Saleh Mahameed corresponds with Geva’s paintings driven by the need to speak about Umm al-Fahm, her native city, in the direct speech of someone born and bred there. Hearing what outsiders say about Umm al-Fahem is difficult for her.
“I am a Fahmaweya—a native daughter of Umm al-Fahm, deeply connected to my city and its history. To my intense regret, it has yet to be restored to its former glory, as it is continuously being de-legitimized. I know more about life in the Arab community in general and Umm al-Fahm in particular, than any outsider.”
Saleh Mahameed is troubled by the frequent gunshots fired by civilians in the city, feeling as if the shots are riddling her own body as she listens attentively for the trajectory of any stray bullet. Maria marks the bullet holes’ strong presence on copper etching plates and charcoal drawings, in protest at the unbearable lightness of the abandonment of local residents to danger, subject to the chance possibility of sudden death.