ACT THREE, SCENE TWO: CAREFUL CARE
Chic Point (details), 2003. Video, 3:4, color, sound, 7’00 min., 5 eds. + 1 AP. Film Stills: Courtesy of the Artist.
Sharif Waked’s video Chic Point opens with the pulsing electronic music and flashing lights of a high fashion runway show, but rather than the male models exhibiting the latest trends, these men sport fashions designed to strategically reveal their bodies in ways that initially seem comical and plainly absurd. From an “I Love NY” shirt with the heart cut out to reveal the model’s chest to a white button up with a zipper across the middle, these fashions level a tongue-in-cheek critique of Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza through which Palestinians must traverse with great care—if at all. The initial humor of this video evaporates as the work transitions to a series of archival photographs showing the precarity of Palestinian men as they bare their bodies at these militarized border checkpoints.
Sharif Waked’s work reflects on power, politics and the everyday, often creating junctions between particular moments in the present and cultural references from the past. Waked constantly questions the absurd realities of conflict, often with sharply observed humour.
Waked has exhibited at various museums, biennials, and art venues includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Queens Museum of Art, New York; Macro al Mattatoio Museum, Rome; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Singapore Art Museum; Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, France; Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Poland; Israel Museum Jerusalem; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Carrousel Du Louvre, Paris; Royal Academy of Arts, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; MUDAC, Lausanne, Switzerland; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile; The Institute of Cultures of Islam (ICI), Paris. The Sharjah Biennial 6 and 9, UAE; Home Works II, Beirut; OFF-Biennale Budapest, Hungary; The Jerusalem Show V, 2011; Spaport Biennial, Bosnia-Herzegovina; 2014 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria. The 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan; Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage, Berlin; 5th Madrid Film Festival; VIII CachoeiraDoc 2017, Brazil; Cork Film Centre, Ireland; Transmediale 05, Berlin; Rotterdam Film Festival.
Born in Nazareth, he lives and works in Israel-Palestine and the US.