"For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing. But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret"Alan Paton
The exhibition “Cry, the Beloved Country’ acts as an indictment against the homeland. A homeland that violated the holy oath of providing equal rights to all its citizens. A land that has been devoid, for more than a century, of freedom and justice. In this project, now more than five years in the making, Gil Mualem-Doron presents various artistic practices including historical research, media surveys, interviews, collaborations and participatory projects in the pursuit of possible responses to an impossible state. Using performances, installations, sculptures, photography and films, the exhibition is set out as a journey into “the heart of darkness”.
Since conceived in mid 2019 some of the works presented here have been changed. Some works had to be put aside due to Covid19 restrictions and several new works were created especially for the unique setting of P21 Gallery and can be viewed only on-site.
Transgressing the boundaries of the place from which he came, as well as the boundaries of the established art domain, Gil Mualem-Doron attempts to de-colonize both spaces.
The exhibition's title, as well, transgresses time and space – making links between various systems of oppression. “Cry, the beloved country” is taken from an article published in the most read Israeli newspaper, Maariv, in 1953, by its chief editor Dr Ezriel Karlebach.
Dr. Karlebach, who condemns in the article the treatment of Arab citizens by the new Israeli state, borrowed the title from the novel by South African author Alan Patton. The book, published in 1948, considered to be one of the most important works written against racism and discrimination, can be seen as a social indictment against the society out of which the apartheid regime was growing. Dr. Karlebach's article was translated into English especially for the exhibition and can be read here.
Dr. Gil Mualem-Doron (1970) is a mixed-race Jewish artist, grew up in Israel and based in the UK. Mualem-Doron’s work is research-based, often collaborative and focuses on issues such as identity politics, nationalism, placemaking and histories of place, social justice, and transcultural aesthetics. His work has been exhibited in places such as the Turner Contemporary, Tate Modern, the South Bank Centre, People’s History Museum (Manchester), the Jewish Museum (London). His work is in several private collections and he has won commissions from organisations such as Counterpoints Arts, Brighton Pride, the Mayor of London and Ben & Jerry’s.
The artist & P21 Gallery would like to thanks Galit Eilat, Meduza Foundation's director (Netherlands) for her help and advice & for Art Council England and the HUB collective for their support.
We would also like to thank the curator Ghazaleh Zogheib, Prof. Ilan Pappe, Ronnie Kasrils, Michael Sfard for contributing texts for the exhibition and Dr Salman Abu Sitta and Eitan Bronstein Aparicio for presenting their work in one of the exhibition's online events.
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All Images © Gil Mualem Doron Photography.