Amer Shomali (Palestinian, b. 1981)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE PALESTINIAN COLLECTION
Amer Shomali (Palestinian, b. 1981)

Pixelated Intifada

Amer Shomali (Palestinian, b. 1981)
Pixelated Intifada
signed in Arabic, signed and dated 'Amer Shomali 2012' (on the top of the base)
assemblage of 58,000 wooden pieces
39 3/8 x 78¾ x 39 3/8in. (100 x 200 x 100cm.)
Executed in 2012, this work is unique
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Jerusalem, Al Ma'mal Foundation, Gestures in Time (as part of Qalandiya International), 2012.
Ramallah, Al Sakakini Cultural Center, 2012-2014.
New York, Whitebox Art Center, How Green Was My Valley, 2014.
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Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importation value (low estimate) levied at the time of collection shipment within UAE. For UAE buyers, please note that duty is paid at origin (Dubai) and not in the importing country. As such, duty paid in Dubai is treated as final duty payment. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.
Sale room notice
Please note that this work is installed on a base.

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Bibi Naz Zavieh
Bibi Naz Zavieh

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Lot Essay

Amer Shomali has developed a highly expressive conceptual and visual vocabulary using different mediums, ranging from painting to installation, animation, sculpture and film. Moving smoothly between these various artistic practices and forms, his work is inspired by the Palestinian revolutionary visual language. This iconography is deconstructed and reconstructed, revealing a politically engaged discourse that tackles and highlights fresh perspectives.

His academic background in architecture, fine arts and animation is coupled with a feverish interest in and increasing knowledge of the Palestinian visual heritage and is compounded by a critical spirit, black humour and an expressive boldness that enable him to engage with different media and methods. He does this, not with the aim of reproducing the past, but through a questioning of history and heritage with criticism of the present, yet always with an emphasis on the aesthetics of the artwork and its ability to be contemporary.

Shomali made Pixilated Intifada in 2012 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Palestinian First Intifada of 1987. A life-size cow sculpture, it references a true story that happened in 1987 when Palestinian activists were developing alternative and autonomous structures that would separate them economically from the systems of the Occupation. In one such experimental project in Beit Sahour, residents hoped to produce dairy products locally as a challenge to the monopoly of the Israeli company Tnuva and several cows were bought for this purpose. A few days after production began, the Israeli army invaded the farm, arrested the activists and ordered the farm to be closed down and the cows slaughtered, claiming that the 18 cows were a 'threat to Israel's national security'. As a reaction, the activists decided to smuggle the cows out at night and hide them in their houses and eventually in caves in the surrounding mountains. The Israeli army went on a massive, four-year hunt for those 18 cows that represented autonomy for the Palestinians and a threat to the solo nuclear power in the Middle East. In 1991 the Madrid Accords were signed and as a consequence the struggle for autonomy was replaced by a relationship of dependence on the occupation. The Beit Sahour activists felt betrayed and decided to slaughter the cows themselves.

In 2014, Shomali (with his co-director, Canadian filmmaker Paul Cowan) completed the animated documentary, The Wanted 18, about the efforts of his hometown of Beit Sahour to establish a dairy industry. The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The Wanted 18 was named Best Documentary from the Arab World at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the Best Documentary at Carthage Film Festival, Tunis in 2014.

In Pixelated Intifada, the cow, designed graphically, is assembled using 58,000 miniature wooden cubes, some burnt to varying degrees to generate darker colours and therefore create different shades and layers.

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