HOW TO SHRIVEL

40”x17”

Photolithography, linen bookbinding tape, vellum, paper

2019

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Using a recurring symbol of dried citrus, this work diagrams and articulates the process of shriveling, which I equate to experiencing the loss of an infrastructure of intimacy. In the context of Palestine, citrus is an economic symbol; of times in which the orange industry brought Jaffa prosperity and trade. In a familial context, I have heard several stories involving great grandfathers and distant relatives picking citrus fruits from trees in front of houses they once owned and returning to their place of diaspora and being unable to consume them; instead letting them shrivel and rot in a bowl or simply throwing them out. After experiencing a loss of my own, I began compulsively drying citrus fruits all over my house. As Sabrien Amrov writes, “home embodies many different ideas.”

When citrus shrivels, it becomes indurate, stone-like. Coincidentally, the primary building material in traditional Palestinian homes is limestone, also called Jerusalem stone. Viewed from a specific angle, the ruins of a Palestinian residence resembles the elastodynamic condition large bodies of water exhibit after earthquakes, called Love Waves. This work begins to draw connections between the processes of losing an infrastructure of intimacy– displacement through illegal settlement or gentrification, the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship– poetically, visually, and symbolically. In losing these infrastructures, you are subjected to some form of ruin. Defined by Jalal Toufic as “places haunted by the living who inhabit them,” I see ruins existing as both physical spaces such as an abandoned home, and metaphysical spaces such as memory and human relationships, haunted as we inhabit and revisit them.