Jordan Nassar: The Sea Beneath Our Eyes


September 21 – November 30, 2019
Opening: September 21 at 12:00 (noon)

CCA – Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Jordan Nassar. The work of Nassar addresses the intersection of craft, language, ethnicity, and embedded notions of heritage and homeland. Following and also expanding his practice for his solo exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv, Nassar will transform the entire first floor of the Center into a studio apartment in which every single item – from the biggest piece of furniture to the smallest knick-knack – will be made in collaboration with local craftspeople in accordance to craftsmanship traditions that are currently found in the Holy Land: from Bedouin woven textiles to glassworks made in Hebron; from Hamsas made in Jaffa to woodwork made in Bethlehem; from baskets made by Ethiopian immigrants to ceramics made by the Armenian community.

Through this project, the artist will continue his examination of cultural heritage, ownership, exchange, and absorption, as well as emigrant nostalgia for the ‘homeland’ and its generational repercussions, whether in connection to his being American with both Palestinian and Jewish roots, or within the contexts of Tel Aviv, Israel, and the region. Furthermore, this project can be considered an investigation of topics spanning geography, politics, and Orientalism, with particular attention being paid to the notions of diaspora and subsequent return as it relates to Biblical Israel and historical Palestine. Taking stock not only of traditions from this land, but also traditions brought to this land by immigrant communities over the past century, the project is an examination of the contemporary demographic of this place, via the crafts currently found here. However, rather than simply employing artisanal techniques, Nassar’s use of craftsmanship is conceptual, an investigation of how the use of material can carry meaning in and of itself.

The exhibition, curated by CCA Tel Aviv director Nicola Trezzi, will be accompanied by a special program – to take place inside the domestic-feeling space created by all the items produced for the exhibition – consisting of convivial discussions with special guests invited by the artist. A catalogue, in the form of an inventory of all the exhibited items complete with technical descriptions in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, will follow the exhibition.

“Jordan Nassar: The Sea Beneath Our Eyes” is supported by Thomas Rom and the Philip & Muriel Berman Foundation, as well as the exhibition circle: Sam Ben-Avraham, Giora Kaplan, Gustavo Mana, Marc Schimmel, and Chaim Zach. Additional support has been provided by James Cohan, New YorkBraverman Gallery, Tel AvivAnat Ebgi, Los Angeles; and The Third Line, Dubai. Key logistic support provided by IL.Collection, ADISH and Artport Tel Aviv.

About the Artist

Jordan Nassar (*1985, New York, where he lives and works) is a unique voice in the contemporary art landscape. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Princeton University Museum of Art (US), Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, The Third Line, Dubai, Artport Tel Aviv, and Evelyn Yard, London. Furthermore, it was presented in the following group exhibitions: “Borders” at James Cohan Gallery, New York; “A Matter Of Printing (for SMC)” at Supportico Lopez, Berlin; “The New Minimalists” at the Abrons Art Center, New York; “New Threads: Perspectives in Contemporary Fiber Art” at Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; and “Long, Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition” at the Katonah Museum of Art (US).


Image: Jordan NassarStill Life with Hebron Glass Vase, Refurbished Oud, Hebron Ceramic Saucer, Jaffa Metalwork Pitcher, Ethiopian Basketry Cup Holder, 2019.