Sat. 28.11.20 / 2 pm Posterity & Expatriation
A Conversation Between Jawa El Khash and Dana Qaddah
To accompany the online exhibition The Upper Side of the Sky from October 12, 2020-April 30, 2021, curator Dana Qaddah hosted a conversation with the artist Jawa El Khash. The Upper Side of the Sky is an interactive virtual reality archive of the ancient ruins of Palmyra, Syria, created by the translation of collective and personal memory. In conversation, Qaddah and El Khash discuss the significance of Palmyra, a site destroyed by ISIS during the Syrian civil war, and the larger implications of such a loss. Drawing on concerns of posterity within majority diasporic populations, they illuminate their use of technology and art to synthesize the experience of personal and institutional archives.
Conversation transcribed and available as a PDF below.
Jawa El Khash (b. 1995, Damascus, Syria) is a Toronto-based artist and researcher. Her work blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, using technologies such as virtual reality and analogue holography to explore the everyday paradoxes and obscurities of living in the world. She uses the contradictions inherent in these spatial mediums to build environments that act as portals to investigate how we experience agriculture, architecture, archeology, and lepidopterology (the scientific study of butterflies and moths). The marriage of technology and art is the backbone of her research, process and thinking, through studying optics, 3D and VR technology to create replicas of reality.
Dana Qaddah (b. 1996, Beirut, Lebanon) is a third generation expatriate, artist and organizer based on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people: the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam nations. Qaddah’s interdisciplinary practice draws upon the condition of generational displacement, being abstracted from the destruction of one’s own sense of self, place, and home. Qaddah completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2019. In 2018, Qaddah participated in Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute II: BUSH gallery. The following year, Qaddah was invited to be the writer in residence at Access Gallery’s PLOT space, and is currently one of the artists in residence at the Media Arts Committee’s sound art program. Qaddah’s upcoming shows include a group exhibition at Unit 17.
Event transcription PDF with slides is available for viewing and downloading here.