Jewels in the Machine: September 28th - October 3rd

Toronto Palestine Film Festival ‘09 presents

Jewels in the Machine: New Media Works
September 28th - October 3rd

OPENING: Tuesday, September 29th
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Beaver Hall Gallery
29 McCaul Street
Admission: PWYC
Exhibition Hours: 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Jewels in the Machine is a group exhibition of new media works in conjunction with the Toronto Palestine Film Festival. Curated by Reena Katz, the exhibition integrates TPFF’s mandate to share and celebrate the richness and diversity of Palestine and Palestinians with Toronto audiences. Using an array of technological practices, including video, digital photography, projection and audio composition, the artists in the exhibition explore themes of motion, embodiment, violence, resistance and generational memory. Their work offers nuance and depth to the narratives of Palestine and diaspora so often simplified in the West.


Jewels in the Machine features works by London, Ontario-based senior artist Jamelie Hassan; Venice Biennale exhibitors Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti; local composer and audio innovator John Kameel Farah; internationally acclaimed video artist Jumana Manna; and, the illustration work of art students from Project HOPE’s Graphic Novel initiative in Nablus.

The Oblivion Seekers, 1985
by Jamelie Hassan (London, ON)
[ 2009 DVD format premiere ]

The Oblivion Seekers, an installation/ performance work, includes two films played simultaneously — a home movie from 1955 in colour and black and white news footage — combined with film of Hassan’s microfiche search of the London Free Press. Audio includes commissioned electronic and guitar music by Gerry Collins, based on a recording of legendary Egyptian singer Umm Khalthoum, with original text by Lillian Allen, based on the 19th century prose of Swiss-Algerian writer Isabelle Eberhardt and fragments from the autobiographical text of Umm Khalthoum.

Wanderings and Places, 2009
by John Kameel Farah (Toronto, ON)
[ short pieces for electronics and piano ]

John’s original composition for TPFF expands on his ongoing explorations of electronic piano works, dealing with musical architecture and complex forms. In this gallery-specific context, musical fragments are positioned as places in the mind, landscapes and rivers — a composer's sketches hanging in the air for someone to eavesdrop on.

Decolonizing Architecture
by Sandi Hilal + Alessandro Petti (London, UK & Bethlehem, Palestine)
[ silent projections ] 

Decolonizing Architecture is a multi-faceted project in Palestine, which uses architecture to articulate the spatial dimension of a process of decolonization. It deals with a fundamental question: How can Israeli colonies and military bases — the architecture of Israel’s colonization — be reused, recycled or re-inhabited by Palestinians, at the moment they are unplugged from the military/political power that charges them?

The West Bank: A Collection of Graphic Novels
Project HOPE (Nablus, Palestine)
[ cells from upcoming book ]

Project HOPE provides educational, medical relief and arts instruction to youth in the Nablus area. Under Rebecca Cox’s mentorship, youth participants completed a course on the art of the graphic novel at Al-Najah University. Their collected stories will be published in book format this year. The Promise by Insaf Al-Shahed deals with the emotional experiences of Palestinian siblings separated and divided by war and occupation.

Familiar + Ramallah Computer Game
by Jumana Manna (Oslo, Norway & Jerusalem, Palestine)
[ two video works ]

Manna’s mother/daughter video portrait Familiar viscerally searches for a sense of comfort and satisfaction, as the artist is seen breastfeeding from her mother at an adult age. Her homage to this intensely personal relationship attempts to return to unconditional love.

Ramallah Computer Game is a video installation, which uses sound and digital processing on an aerial shot of a demonstration in Ramallah, showing the eerie similarity between military crowd control and video game aesthetics.

Conceived to introduce Toronto audiences to the richness and diversity of Palestine and Palestinians, the Toronto Palestine Film Festival strives to inspire new perspectives and celebrate film as a thought-provoking art form. The festival showcases the extraordinary narrative of a dispossessed people living in exile or under occupation. The films examine a wide array of topics from a unique and under-represented Palestinian perspective, and highlight the dynamism of Palestinian culture.

Please visit their Web site at and view their complete 2009 film programme. Advance film tickets, TPFF 10 Pass or Memberships can be purchased online or at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (73 Harbord Street).

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