Traces AIR Antwerpen

Bisan Abu-Eisheh

Nov 2014
1985 lives and works in Jerusalem

Bisan Abu-Eisheh is invited for a residency of three months in AIR Antwerpen in November 2014 and August-September 2015. During his residency Bisan Abu-Eisheh will depart from the thriller 'Operation Plumat' which took place in the 60's in the harbour of Antwerp. This is the name of a secret mission that took place in 1968 during which the Israeli secret service Mossad purchased 200 tons of uranium from the Union Minière and smuggled it via the port of Antwerp through Genoa into Israel. Written in the form of a page-turner, it nevertheless seems to have some basis in reality and Abu-Eisheh wishes to further investigate this event. He will emphasize the role of the port of Antwerp as a transit zone and establish links to the city’s various communities.

The work of Bisan Abu-Eisheh is constructed around the experience of living in an occupied city and being part of a minority. As a Palestinian living in Jerusalem, his daily reality involves countless unwritten rules of behaviour. The experience of the public space plays an important role and passers-by as much as visitors to his exhibitions often play an active part in the creative process. Abu-Eisheh consistently questions notions such as identity and the urban experience. In Welcome to Palestine (2012-2013), he exhibited a guidebook to Jerusalem that contained comments and new ideas he felt should be included in the guide to give a realistic image of the city: among others, checkpoints, the wall, and armed soldiers. During the first presentation in Ramallah the visitors to the exhibition also had the opportunity to suggest new places and contribute their comments. In Playing House (2011), Abu-Eisheh assembled a collection of objects found in the rubble of homes that were torn down in Jerusalem. The objects consist on the one hand of personal belongings such as clothing, CDs and tools, and on the other of construction elements such as stone, wood and pipes. The objects form traces of the daily lives of the families that once lived in these demolished homes and evoke the personal relations between the objects and their former owners.

Bisan Abu-Eisheh studied at Central Saint Martins (2014) and the International Academy of Art, Palestine. Selected group exhibitions include: Eva International, Limerick, 2014; Hiwar: Conversations in Amman, Darat Al Funon, Amman, 2013; Points of Departure, ICA Gallery, London, 2013; Arrivals and Departures, Ancona, 2012; The Jerusalem Show: On/off Language, Jerusalem, 2011; The 12th Konstfack, Stockholm, 2011; World Social Forum Photo Exhibition, Jerusalem, 2010; Inner Abroad Exhibition, International Academy of Art, Palestine, Ramallah, 2010; Al-Rozana Heritage Festival, Berzeit, Ramallah, 2009; On Route Exhibition, International Academy of Art, Palestine, Ramallah, 2009.