The survey show positions the works in dialogue with each other, featuring productions and reproductions of Batniji’s work created between 1997 and 2022. During this period, he lived mainly in France, but his life and work continued to meditate on Palestine.
While the exhibition’s title refers to a single work, No Condition Is Permanent (2014-2022), the curatorial narrative and works on display showcase the artist’s diverse practice beginning with photography, painting, drawing, video, installation and performance. Batniji’s prolific production creates a vocabulary that transforms everyday things into rich visual experiences. Most works include biographical elements; reflecting the artist's experience, they also echo the current state of the world. Individual identity and collective endeavours are often tangled, as the artist describes: ‘In 1997, I wanted to work on ways to master my own language as an artist, and with that I had to specify my position within the historical narrative and reality. This created an intersection and interaction between my personal story and my context as a Palestinian, as an artist, and as a human.’
The human condition is embedded in each work, reflecting on the turbulence of displacement, caused by settler violence and colonialism, and the shifting meanings of memory that disrupt familiar images. These works of art are generated by the remains of shared history and trauma, poetically and imaginatively transcending the multiple ongoing crises, challenging reality-politics, and influencing the future by connecting communities. Batniji’s work at times refers to writers and artists such as Mahmoud Darwish, Bernd & Hlilla Becher and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who also address situations of trauma, memory and exclusion. While the history of art is a story of the progress and regression of civilization, Batniji’s work takes the unique individual experience, as its starting point – which is amplified when lived by many.
Co-curated by Abdellah Karroum and Lina Ramadan, No Condition is Permanent is one of several programmes scheduled as part of Qatar-MENASA 2022 Year of Culture.