On March 17, community members, artists and art lovers gathered at Al Hoash* gallery to attend the exhibition opening of A Black Hole in the Sun.
The exhibition, supported by Swiss Development Cooperation and the Danish Center for Culture and Development, featured a collection of art works from different stages of the life of the internationally renowned Palestinian artist, Ibrahim Noubani.
On the opening of Noubani’s solo exhibition, Alia Rayyan, Al Hoash gallery’s director, made a welcoming speech highlighting the significance of the event; which is the second exhibition held for Noubani at Al Hoash.
She also addressed the question of identity and belonging in Noubani’s work and how they address a larger public other than himself:
“Defining nationhood, cultural space and belonging are recurrent themes in Ibrahim Noubani’s art. The artist’s internal dilemma of belonging stands out and reveals its own strength… His identity crisis may be used as an example for the necessity to discuss the dwelling Palestinian souls’’
Mazen Qubty, a member of the Board of Directors of Al Hoash and an art connoisseur, is one of the strongest supporters of Noubani. In his speech he stated:
“In my opinion, Ibrahim Noubani is one of the most important Palestinian Fine Artists, and his works are characterized by high beliefs and have a profound attribute to them.”
A Black Hole in the Sun is a series of paintings recounting Noubani’s journey.
Layer after layer, the artist keeps rebuilding his paintings until he reaches a level of satisfaction. Noubani’s soul inhabits his paintings.
His search for a self-identity is also a search for a secure, stable home where he may find relief from a nomadic life. This is the journey that his paintings enact.
They pursue the instinct for life in a bitter world, sometimes expressing this contradiction through beautiful, vibrant mixtures of colors, at other times using the more somber tones of neutral colors.
Suffering from an identity crisis, having lived under the constant constraints of the Israeli government’s control over 1948, Noubani developed a serious psychological condition that he strongly reflects in his art.
As much as most of his work is about his own personal trauma and those living in 48 Palestine, it also reflects the experience of every oppressed society. Noubani’s art and trauma is partially but deeply affected by the Israeli government’s attack and destruction of the Jenin refugee camp, during the second Intifada.
Rula Khoury, the curator of A Black Hole in the Sun is an art historian and art critic. She is currently pursuing a second Master in Art Writing and Criticism at the School of Visual Arts’, New York.
Having assisted in curating Noubani’s exhibition held by Al Hoash in 2006, Khoury stated:
“Noubani created meaning and discovered his self through his artwork. But when we cannot define or recognize nothingness we are reduced to pure existence. Noubani’s use of layering is not simply an aesthetic strategy; it is also a map of his journey through nothingness.’’
A musical performance followed the opening, in support of the European Union. The performance was by the composer Samer Rashed and a group of fellow musicians.