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The work of Jordan Nassar (*1985, New York, where he lives and works) addresses the intersection of craft, language, ethnicity, and embedded notions of heritage and homeland. Following and also expanding his practice for his solo exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, Nassar will transform the entire first floor of the Center into a studio apartment in which every single item – from the biggest piece of furniture to the smallest knick-knack – will be made in collaboration with local craftspeople in accordance to craftsmanship traditions that are currently found in the Holy Land: from Bedouin woven textiles to glassworks made in Hebron; from Hamsas made in Jaffa to woodwork made in Bethlehem; from baskets made by Ethiopian immigrants to ceramics made by the Armenian community.

Through this project, the artist will continue his examination of cultural heritage, ownership, exchange, and absorption, as well as emigrant nostalgia for the ‘homeland’ and its generational repercussions, whether in connection to his being American with both Palestinian and Jewish roots, or within the contexts of Tel Aviv, Israel, and the region. Furthermore, this project can be considered an investigation of topics spanning geography, politics, and Orientalism, with particular attention being paid to the notions of diaspora and subsequent return as it relates to Biblical Israel and historical Palestine.

Taking stock not only of traditions from this land, but also traditions brought to this land by immigrant communities over the past century, the project is an examination of the contemporary demographic of this place, via the crafts currently found here. However, rather than simply employing artisanal techniques, Nassar’s use of craftsmanship is conceptual, an investigation of how the use of material can carry meaning in and of itself.

“Jordan Nassar: The Sea Beneath Our Eyes” is curated by Nicola Trezzi.

The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet in Hebrew, Arabic and English, an artist talk on September 28, a conversation between Tali Kushnir and Maayan Elyakim on October 16, a conversation between Amit Luzon and Qussay Abuaker on November 5, a lecture by Noam Ben-Yoasef on November 6, a roundtable moderated by Shachar Atwan on November 14, and an exhibition tours on November 16.

“Jordan Nassar: The Sea Beneath Our Eyes” is supported by Thomas Rom and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, as well as “the Sea Beneath Our Eyes” exhibition circle: Sam Ben-Avraham, Giora Kaplan, Gustavo Mana, Marc Schimmel, and Chaim Zach. Additional support has been provided by James Cohan, New York, Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, and The Third Line, Dubai; key logistic support provided by IL.Collection, ADISH and Artport.



The Sea Beneath Our Eyes, 2019

Mixed media, installation view at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo

Courtesy of the artist, James Cohan, New York, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, and The Third Line, Dubai

Photo: Eyal Agivayev

Jordan Nassar: The Sea Beneath Our Eyes

November 29, 2019

September 20, 2019

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