Oumm-aah أمّاه - Elegy for the beloved Motherland

© E. Haram, 2013

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© E. Haram, 2013

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Oumm-aah أمّاه - Elegy for the beloved Motherland

Curator: Aaron Pollard

Exhibition
January 30 – March 12, 2016

Opening
Saturday, January 30 at 5 pm

The arabic expression أمّاه (pronounced Oumm-aah) resists precise translation. Literally, it is a call to mother, however its usage can expand to a call to the homeland, and to the earth.

Using a process of digital layering both in a technical and metaphorical sense, the artist treats the photographic image as a repository for personal, collective and universal consciousness. In this light, Haram’s work becomes an homage to a culture, people and land under a decades-long siege. Moreover it is a sweeping tribute to the anguished call of mothers, children and the earth itself. In a spiritual leap, she converts the four walls of the room into a sanctuary.

Drawing from three overlapping bodies of work, the artist places the documentary image side by side with mythical works constructed from photographs she took during her trip to Palestine and from historical archives, forming a potent mix of iconographies. Individually, these images exude a palpable sense of loss. In dialogue together they step beyond postcolonial longing to a possible territory of redress and reparation. With this Elegy to her native Palestine, Eman Haram raises universal questions concerning roots, displacement and dispossession, unsettling cultural assumptions concerning symbols and photographic imagery.

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Eman Haram

Eman Haram is an interdisciplinary artist of many countries and identities. Palestinian by lineage, Damascene by birth, Lebanese by symbiosis of having spent nearly twenty years of her life in the profligate city called Beirut, Jordanian by a stroke of fate, and Canadian by naturalization. After completing her undergraduate and graduate studies in architecture and art history in the United States, where she lived and worked in numerous cities for more than two decades, she relocated to Canada in 2001 and is currently living in the vast space between Montreal and Amman. Haram has presented her photographic works, installations and performances locally (Darling Foundry, Chantier Libre, Atelier Circulaire) and internationally (Contemporary Istanbul, Jordan National Gallery of Fine Art, Casa Arabe Madrid, International Women's festival, Aleppo, Dar Al Kalima College, Bethlehem, Amman Image festival III).

Aaron Pollard

Aaron Pollard is a multidisciplinary artist from Montreal who has been producing and presenting video art and multimedia performances since the early 1990s. His works have been shown in Canada and abroad. He studied at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Corcordia University, where he completed an MFA. He is the co-founder of 2boys.tv as well as researcher and head of OBORO's multimedia sector.