Exhibit: Memories of old Amman river flow into stories of city's women


(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — The exhibition 'Liquid entities' at the Darat Al Funun Lab in Amman traces the life of a river that once existed in Amman through video, text, sound and discovered materials.

The exhibition is the result of collaboration between Jordanian artist Areej Huniti and German artist Eliza Goldox, and was preceded by a workshop facilitated by both artists, in which participants were invited to rethink the city by looking at myth and fiction, curator Joud Halawani told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

'The Lab is mainly for experimental projects by emerging artists,' she said, adding: 'This exhibition is part of the third phase of this year's programme at the Lab, which looks at themes like gender, women's relationships to the city and thoughts about feminism away from colonial perspectives.'

'The artists came across a mythical creature in an Arab myth called Bahamut, which is a fish that carries the world on its back, and it's female and so it connects to this idea of feminine power,' Halawani said.

The starting point for the exhibition was the stream that used to pass by the city of Amman and was later covered according to a government decision. The exhibit 'evokes it as a way of imagining an alternative future for this city through the lens of different women who live in Amman', the curator noted.

The exhibition includes writings by workshop participants and a collection of objects that participants found at a part of the river that still exists in Jerash, she said, noting that the aim is to create 'a space for a multiplicity of narratives'.

The exhibition also includes screens showing a simulated environment created by the artists and displaying interviews with women who all have 'a different relationship to the city'. One of the women is Jordanian, the second is an Iraqi mother who had to flee from Baghdad to Amman because of war and the third came from Gaza to Amman many years ago.

'You start to see how they relate differently to Amman, but also they are asked about their relationship to water and what having access to water means,' Halawani said.

Commenting on another film showcased in the exhibition, the curator noted: 'The utopian always verges on the dystopian; it is always a very thin line. So you see fire coming out of the ground in several abandoned sites around Amman.'

Amman, a city short on water, 'is constantly longing for something that is absent', Halawani said.

The exhibition is open until December 25 and the entry is free of charge, according to the organisers.

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