Photographs by John Halaka
21 March — 25 April 2014
Opening Reception Talk:
Portraits of Denial & Desire. “Abu Ghazi” Krayem Kanj. Nahr El Bared Refugee Camp. 2013. 20×30” digital print. ©John Halaka
Palestinians have faced an ongoing cultural genocide over the past 65
years and continue to experience a forced odyssey that has been
characterized by repeated cycles of catastrophic displacement,
debilitating deprivation, tenacious resistance and admirable resilience.
refugees have become the forgotten survivors of the world. Their
experiences in exile have been deliberately ignored and their voices
repeatedly silenced. While Palestinians continue to be educed to an
absence in their native homeland, the continuity of their stories and
images ensures their presence and survival. Portraits of Denial &
Desire is a multidisciplinary project that attempts to make the images
and narratives of Palestinian refugees indelible, and their personal
experiences in exile unforgettable.”
Meet the Artist
is a Visual Artist, Documentary Filmmaker and Professor of Visual Arts
at the University of San Diego, where he has taught since 1991.
an activist artist, Halaka’s creative work serves as a vehicle for
meditation on personal, cultural and political concerns. His drawings,
paintings and documentary film projects are informed by the Palestinian
experiences of displacement and the persistent desire of the refugees to
reclaim their homes and homeland. “Through my work, I attempt to
initiate a dialogue with the viewer that could hopefully instigate
transformation, one person at a time.”Halaka has exhibited his artwork
and screened his films regionally, nationally and internationally.
John’s drawings from the series Landscapes of Desire were featured in a
solo exhibition at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn
Michigan, through January 2014. He is the recipient of a Fulbright
Research Fellowship in 2011-2012 to develop the second phase of the
project Portraits of Denial & Desire, in Lebanon. John received his
MFA in the Visual Arts from the University of Houston in 1983, and his
B.A. in Fine Arts from the City University of New York Baccalaureate
Program, with Brooklyn College as home school. He is of Palestinian
descent and was born in El Mansoura, Egypt, in 1957.
A selection of Halaka’s paintings and drawings can be viewed on his web site www.johnhalaka.com.
about his film projects and archives of video interviews can be found
on his other web site: www.sittingcrowproductions.com.