By Ziad Yousef Haj Ali
Curated by George Al-Ama
Gallery One, Ramallah
Until June 13, 2018
In the works shown in his first solo exhibition, titled Hand Eye, Ziad Yousef Haj Ali employs various kinds of amulets that are prevalent in Arab society. It is a popular belief that such amulets provide a defense against the harm that comes from jinn (spirits) and humans. The two most popular amulets are the palm and the eye. Ironically, the occupation has adopted both these icons and uses them – in one way or another – on checkpoint signs. Hence, the palm (al-kaf), which is supposed to ward off evil, has become a sign that tells people: “Stop, there is a checkpoint that will push YOU away.” The eye (al-ain), which is supposed to watch out for and guard against malevolent people, has turned into a sort of “camera” that stares at YOU, making you a suspect. Amulets… how many do we need to protect ourselves from the harm of the occupation?!
Born in Jerusalem, Ziad Yousef obtained a BA in fine arts from the University of Jordan in Amman. Currently he lives and works in Ramallah. Since his return to Palestine in 2009, Ziad Yousef has worked in visual arts and art production. He is the production-unit supervisor at the Birzeit University Museum and has been involved in several art activities and events. A specialist in prints, in particular screen-printing, Ziad Yousef has produced a series of artworks and participated in local and international group exhibitions.
Kaf Ain is his first solo exhibition. Gallery One is open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.