By George Rivera with Beth Krensky
Bethlehem: Diyar Publisher, 2017, 118 pages, $29.90
Available at Dar Annadwa, Bethlehem
Globalocation refers to exhibitions by the Artnauts Collective in international venues with the specific purpose of addressing social change and social issues that are similar to those in other countries. This is a book of the Artnauts in Palestine from 2004 to 2016.
The Artnauts Collective was formed in the United States in 1996. Most of its members are from the United States, though it also includes members from Argentina, Bosnia, Chile, China, Colombia, Korea, Mexico, and Palestine. The Collective has held exhibitions at Al-Kafa Gallery at the International Center of Bethlehem, Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem, the Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah, and the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah.
The book comprises three sections. The first presents a description of the Artnauts and a contextualization of their international activities within contemporary art theory. The second offers a discussion of art activities in Palestine generated by Dr. Rivera outside of each specific exhibition and an account of the experiences of an American who witnessed the reality of life under military occupation. In addition, experiences in Palestine are compared with recollections and similarities noted by Dr. Rivera as a Mexican American – a racial/ethnic minority member living in the United States. The last section of the book displays artwork from each exhibition that addressed such themes as diaspora, displacement, home/homeland, poems of Mahmoud Darwish, resistance, and war. Especially noteworthy are art pieces by American artist Ben Jackel who drew a map of the original partition plan of Palestine (on the book cover) and another depicting the location of settlement sites throughout Palestine. This section also includes powerful works on the actual conditions on the ground by Faten Nastas Mitwasi and Johny Andonia, both Palestinian artists who are part of the Artnauts Collective.