Hazem Harb’s art is present among some of the most impressive personal and public collections of contemporary Middle Eastern art and can be encountered internationally in institutions from the British Museum, London to Centre Pompidou, Paris. What sets Harb’s artistic practice apart is his inclusion of rarified ephemera - archival photographs, coins and maps - which the artist understands as powerful materials that can counter dominant narratives surrounding Palestinian histories and identities. Harb harnesses these items, re-framing them in a contemporary art context so that his audiences might understand the Palestinian experience in a more nuanced and intimate way. For this edition of ‘In The Studio’ we enter the artist’s tranquil Jumeirah sanctuary to uncover the motivations behind his socially-driven art and to share a privileged glimpse into his archives, collected and contributed to over several decades.
words by Laura Beaney in Design & Architecture