Title: Dokumenta11 - Der Rundgang (tour)
Author: Thomas Wulffen
Source: Kunstforum International, Bd.161, August-cktober 2002



Kunstforum International, Bd.161, August-October 2002


Documenta 11 - Der Rundgang (tour)
Thomas Wulffen


Fareed Armaly (born 1957 in Iowa, USA, lives in Stuttgart).
In 1991 in Artforum, Helmut Draxler wrote on an exhibition of Fareed Armaly: “(Thus) one 'leitmotiv' of Armaly is the transition from one condition to another - from an imaginary state to reality - which opens up a political access to art... Armaly has developed a method to discuss highly complex structures.. Disparate means are rendered comparable by texts, film clips and a spatial arrangement which can be perceived by a visitor only through movement."

This statement is still true eleven years later, although the political background referenced is much more virulent. As an American of Libanese-Palestinian origin, Fareed Armaly takes as the subject of his Documenta11 contribution the history of Palestine from its beginning until the present day. Inside of the Documentahall, he has developed a spatial organisation which proceeds from the shape of a digitized stone. For the artist, this stone represents a symbol for the world as well as for architecture, and moreover it is also a weapon. The title of his contribution „”From/To" is inscribed on the wireframe and refers simultaneously to a number of possible approaches to what is represented here. The work has been rendered in a first version in 1999 under the condition of a possible peace process. The actualized version has to take into consideration the breakup of negotiations and even war. This becomes clear by way of a detail. „From/To" is not only a single artist's work, but developed in collaboration with a number of different participants, among them Rashid Masharawi, a palestinian film maker. He operates as the artist's link to a Palestine as it is represented now in the mass media, and the actual Palestine - this because Rashid Masharawi was born in Palestine and still lives there. The one hour film Checkpoint allows for the viewer to watch how Israel closes down a checkpoint. The movement from the imaginary to reality is taking place.