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c-print, 190 x 150

In Israel, an Arab does not turn his back; the back is turned at him. An Arab is first and foremost a suspect. In Israel, Arabic, the mother tongue of some twenty percent of the country’s citizens as well as of the neighboring countries, is still considered foreign and threatening, a living sign of our disinclination to communicate with the "enemy" in our midst and around us. In Israel, an Arab is an outsider from the get go. When Palestinian-Israeli artist Anisa Ashkar writes on her back, in Arab calligraphy, a sentence beginning with the words "according to foreign sources," she adopts the "bastard" practice used by the Israeli public when discussing the forbidden. "Bastard" because it is hybridic and outlawed by its very nature. The language, Ashkar herself, and the practice are all hybrids, outsiders, a specter whose face (let alone desires) are hidden. The bare back confirms what we have always suspected: that even she, the outsider among us, has her own foreign sources. In the flesh, so to speak, she becomes a carrier of the secret.Thus all the more reason why she must not be let in on it. This is the seductive back whose origins lie in colonialist orientalism, and its future—who can say. The western back we have become accustomed to turning at the Arab world is now turned back at us. It hides a mocking "bastardly" grin (I, too, know that "according to foreign sources…") revealing that indeed, as we had always feared, what is hidden there is personal, plotting. Discomfort and suffocation stuck in the throat.

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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

According to Foreign Sources: Discomfort & Suffocation Stuck in my Throat

c-print, 190 x 150

In Israel, an Arab does not turn his back; the back is turned at him. An Arab is first and foremost a suspect. In Israel, Arabic, the mother tongue of some twenty percent of the country’s citizens as well as of the neighboring countries, is still considered foreign and threatening, a living sign of our disinclination to communicate with the "enemy" in our midst and around us. In Israel, an Arab is an outsider from the get go. When Palestinian-Israeli artist Anisa Ashkar writes on her back, in Arab calligraphy, a sentence beginning with the words "according to foreign sources," she adopts the "bastard" practice used by the Israeli public when discussing the forbidden. "Bastard" because it is hybridic and outlawed by its very nature. The language, Ashkar herself, and the practice are all hybrids, outsiders, a specter whose face (let alone desires) are hidden. The bare back confirms what we have always suspected: that even she, the outsider among us, has her own foreign sources. In the flesh, so to speak, she becomes a carrier of the secret.Thus all the more reason why she must not be let in on it. This is the seductive back whose origins lie in colonialist orientalism, and its future—who can say. The western back we have become accustomed to turning at the Arab world is now turned back at us. It hides a mocking "bastardly" grin (I, too, know that "according to foreign sources…") revealing that indeed, as we had always feared, what is hidden there is personal, plotting. Discomfort and suffocation stuck in the throat.

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

According to Foreign Sources - catalogue
Gilad Melzer
According to Foreign Sources
Gilad Melzer