Conceptual Framework

Gestures in Time is part of the pilot edition of Qalandiya International – art and life in Palestine. In collaboration between the Jerusalem Show and Riwaq Binnial, Gestures in Time presented 30 artists and 21 new commissions. Works explored the individual gesture as an act of aesthetic and social creation. Gestures in Time took place in urban and rural locations across Palestine (Abwein, Hajja, Jamma’in, Dhahiriya, Jerusalem and Ramallah).

Gestures in Time is anchored to the precise geographic, historic, poetic and political location of Palestine. Yet Palestine’s imbrication in the wider international perspective gives the project an overall international resonance. From this expanded perspective, artists in Gestures in Time consider the urgency to ‘intervene’ the visual and textual present by fracturing the everyday forms that defined the world in the recent past, enabling a radical re-interpretation and reconstruction of the present moment. The notion that the present is incomplete and that, therefore, it falsifies the construction of future History, is pivotal to this exhibition. For these artists the very notion of “historical progress” is a cruel illusion. The gesture becomes a form of poetic and performative unbinding of progress; a force of construction and individual creation.

Gestures in Time operates beyond any impetus of fragmentation and isolation, and beyond religious imperatives, which are being misused within the region and well beyond it. From this perspective the gesture functions as a micro, and subtle, tool towards speaking together and to each other.

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