O Whale, Don’t Swallow Our Moon
‘O Whale, Don’t Swallow Our Moon’ is a solo exhibition for artist Jumana Emil Abboud. The exhibition comprises a series of past and new works which deal conceptually and aesthetically with Palestinian folktales, creatures and sites. Her most recent work, the video installation Hide Your Water from the Sun, an ongoing research-based work made in collaboration with Issa Freij, takes as its departure an essay by Palestinian ethnographer Tawfiq Canaan from the 1920s about haunted water wells in Palestine. The series of drawings, dating back to 2005, are inspired from Palestinian folktales and creatures. The great importance of Jumana Emil Abboud’s work is that it emphasizes, builds on and calls forth a return of ghosts, fantastical creatures, magical tales and haunted geographies into the contemporary life of neoliberal reality. Abboud has formed a different and new aesthetic language with which to re-awaken these dormant stories. The wealth of the folktales also lies in both their universality and specificity, as most of the collected stories Abboud works with derive from different combinations of cultures. Jumana weaves poetry, performance, video installations, objects/talismans, as well as many drawings which link those stories to contemporary realities and myths, adding layers and appropriating folkloric tales into a contemporary aesthetic language as a way to present inarticulated social and political trauma.