Text by Adiana Shibli, Rasha Salt.
A Palestinian living in New York, Emily Jacir became known for her text and photo piece “Where We Come From” (2003), which was shown in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. The work documents Jacir’s travels through Palestine--with the liberty of her U.S. passport--performing tasks from the mundane to the poignant for nearly 30 exiled Palestinians from around the world. Jacir, who was born in 1970, takes on such highly fraught collisions of culture, religion and politics with conceptually complex yet elegant and emotionally moving means of resistance. This publication collects recent works, including “From Paris to Riyadh,” (1999–2001). In this central work, Jacir, now one of the Middle East’s most important contemporary artists, aims to illuminate the overlap between western culture and Arab values by making pencil drawings over the naked skin of models in glossy magazines, censoring certain areas according to custom.