City Life Org – MoMA PS1 will present the first major exhibition of Jumana Manna in the United States from September 22
Jumana manna. Old bread (detail). 2021. Ceramics, plastic bags, galvanized metal.
MoMA PS1 will present the first major museum exhibition of Jumana Manna (Palestinian, b. 1987) in the United States. Presented from September 22, 2022 to April 17, 2023, Break, Take, Erase, Tally brings together nearly 20 works including two recent films, Wild Relatives (2018) and Foragers (2022), as well as a series of new and existing sculptures, tracing the artist’s multidisciplinary practice that explores the paradoxical effects of conservation practices in agriculture, science and law. Through the works in the exhibition, from sculptures to films, the earth and its rhythms are explored as the basis of lifestyles that have endured coercion while resisting, evading and transforming hegemonic power structures.
Focusing on land in the face of growing forms of alienation, Manna’s films use a range of narrative methods to examine how land-based practices like farming and gathering intertwine and struggle against neoliberal and colonial policies. and, in turn, against climate change. . Drawing on specific examples, such as the first removal from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2015 in response to the Syrian war – the subject of his film Wild Relatives – Manna highlights the scientific limitations of recovering biological loss of life, in all its aspects. shapes. Additionally, his work visualizes the slow violence of industrial agriculture while asking poignant questions about what kind of future is possible in a precarious present.
In her new film Foragers, which premieres in New York as part of the exhibition, Manna oscillates between documentary and fiction to chronicle the confrontations between Palestinian gatherers of wild ‘akkoub and za’atar herbs and the Israeli Authority for protection of nature, which deemed the plants endangered. Denial of foragers and the penalties they face, ranging from hefty fines and possible jail time, sometimes take on an absurd and comedic tone that raises key questions about the policy of extinction, namely who determines what to live on. and how. In both of Manna’s films, plants and seeds are the main subjects, and the relationship between human labor and the land is central to their narrative structures.
A centerpiece of the exhibition is a large-scale installation of new sculptures, which draw inspiration from the fragmented remains of khabyas, traditional and now obsolete structures for grain storage in the Levant. The sculptures are placed in dialogue with the artist’s characteristic industrial plinth assemblages, which borrow materials found in the urban environment from construction sites to drainage systems. Through these juxtapositions, Manna considers the shift of storage systems from sources of sustenance and regeneration tied to agricultural life cycles to spaces of accumulation and centralized economies of capital growth. These formal amalgamations of architecture testify to Manna’s ongoing sculptural research into improvised infrastructure in places where infrastructure is built to fail, as well as questions of recursion, materiality and scale.
Jumana Manna (b. 1987) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. His recent solo exhibitions include Jumana Manna / MATRIX 278, Berkeley Museum of Art, San Francisco; Sketch and Bread, Balade Charlottenburg, Villa Oppenheim, Berlin; Thirty Plumbers in the Belly, M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (all 2021); Wild Relatives, Tensta Kunsthall, Sweden (2020); Jumana Manna, Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Spain (2019); A Small Big Thing, Henie Onstad Museum, Høvikodden (2019), Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2018); A Magical Substance Flows Within Me, Mercer Union, Toronto (2017); Wild Relatives, Satellite 10 program of the Jeu de Paume at the MABA and at the CAPC contemporary art museum in Bordeaux, France (2017); A Magical Substance Flows Into Me, Malmö Kunsthall, Sweden (2016) and at the Chisenhale Gallery, London (2015); and Menace of Origins, SculptureCenter, New York (2014). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions and major film festivals, including the Toronto Art Biennale (2022 and 2019); 11th Taipei Biennial (2018); Nordic Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Liverpool Biennial (2016); Biennial of Marrakech 6 (2016); Vision du Réel, Lyon (2022), Dokufest Kosovo (2018 and 2022), Open City Film Festival, London (2022), 54th and 56th Vienna International Film Festival (2016 and 2018); IFFR (2013 and 2017), IDFA (2021 and 2022); 66th and 68th Berlinale (2016 and 2018); and CPH:DOX (2018). Manna’s work is held in public and private collections internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; MCA Chicago; Center Pompidou, Paris; Carré d’Art, Nimes, France; National Museum of Norway, Oslo; and Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE.
Jumana Manna: Break, Take, Erase, Tally is curated by Ruba Katrib, MoMA PS1 Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs.
Significant support for Jumana Manna: Break, Take, Erase, Tally is provided by the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art.
Generous support is provided by the Contemporary Arts Council of the Museum of Modern Art and Lise Stolt-Nielsen.
Special thanks to Hollybush Gardens, London.
Jumana Manna’s Middle Ghost (Cache Series) presentation at 46th Ave Public Plaza is made possible by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
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