Universes in Universe

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Firas Shehadeh

Never Here Cool Memories, 2018
Single channel video/2 channel sound, 4 chairs, 12:19

Never Here Cool Memories investigates the structure of feelings of a Palestinian in Amman in a way that Jordan´s capital turns out to be a hybrid Palestinian sphere. In this sphere, imagined memory and trans-generational trauma work to construct and visualise real concrete moments that are connected to colonialism, displacement and alienation.

The Palestinian state project and the consequences of the Oslo agreement work against more than two-thirds of the Palestinian population. It eliminates the Palestinian entity/identity through narrowing it down to a “state” narrative, thereby leaving Palestinian refugees and those in the diaspora isolated and abandoned, in a permanent state of waiting. The structure of feelings is captured in a constant oscillation between two points, between memory/“nostalgia" and memento/“reality”. Never Here Cool Memories is a register of capturing a forbidden land through the eye of a wanderer looking at Palestine from the East Bank to see what “a homeland” looks like, through emotions formed out of nostalgia and geographic displacement.


Firas Shehadeh is an artist based in Vienna, raised between Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and with a background that developed from being a resident of a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman. His work explores his relationship with the space and the influence of authority on the alteration of the collective consciousness and identity. He is interested in post-colonial effects, technology and history. Exhibitions include Sentences on the Banks and other Activities, Darat al Funun (2010); the 64th Berlinale (2014); Qalandiya International (2014); La Capella, Barcelona (2015); Body Politics, Loop Barcelona (2015), Colectivo Acciones de Arte (C.A.D.A.), Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2016); /si:n/ festival of video art and performance, Ramallah (2017); Truth is Black, Write over it with a Mirage’s light, Darat al Funun, Amman (2018).

Second Award: shared by Firas Shehadeh and Dima Srouji

© Photo: Courtesy of A.M. Qattan Foundation

Young Artist of the Year Award 2018

A.M. Qattan Foundation's program to support Palestinian artists. Exhibition of the awardees and shortlisted artists. 6 Nov. - 27 Dec. 2018, AMQF Cultural Centre, Ramallah.

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