Archaeology of Occupation is a 2015 body of work by artist Hazem Harb. In this collage series, Harb juxtaposes pre-Nakba (1948) photographs of Palestinian landscapes with concrete heavy masses on the horizon of some of the images. Among many things, Harb has been experimenting with the relationship between sculpture and painting; collage as a technique seems to be very fitting, not only in terms of formal experimentation but as a reference to modernist works of art. Harb is referencing modernism in relation to architecture, the occupation of Palestine, and the Bauhaus style that worked hand in hand with military occupation. The series emphasises a history of colonialism, where the concretions are levitating ominously above Palestine’s coastal skies. Thus, the collage is twofold: the photos show a landscape devoid of people representing a biblical landscape, while the concrete cut-outs pre-empt the arrival of colonial modernising concrete onto the horizon of the cities. But how does one read it from the present, or from the future? Perhaps in reverse? Lara Khaldi 2015.
Print on Hahnemuhle FineArt paper