Monday, September 30, 2013
Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery
Shuruq Harb, Artist
Reem Fadda, Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project
Mark Wasiuta, Columbia University GSAPP
At the core of The Keeper are more than 2,000 photographs that artist Shuruq Harb inherited in 2010. They are the remnants of a vast archive assembled by Mustafa, a young image entrepreneur who collected photographs online, to be printed for sale on the streets of Ramallah. Mustafa positioned himself as an intermediary between the explosive proliferation of photographs on the internet and an audience eager to participate in a form of image consumption otherwise unavailable to them. Acting as a content filter, he selected and composed a catalogue of Turkish soap opera stars, political figures, wrestlers, militants, musicians and other characters that would appeal to his clientele. Printed on the glossy stock of automatic photo labs, the images pivot between online spaces of frictionless circulation and zones of infrastructural limitation that would normally block their dissemination.
Harb’s project encounters the dilemma posed by this collection whose ephemeral value was hinged to the rapid temporality of news cycles and popular taste. The Keeper tangles with the fading currency, aura and celebrity of the figures portrayed and questions what is preserved within this archive extracted from the flux of a digital image economy.
Tuesday — Saturday, 12 — 6 PM
Adam M. Bandler
The Keeper was originally commissioned by Gwangju Biennial 2012, and supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)
The 2012 Arthur Ross Gallery Renovation was made possible with the generous support of the Arthur Ross Foundation.