Farhud - Part One: Fuad
Installation view at HaMidrasha Gallery, Tel Aviv
This exhibit is the first part of a trilogy of exhibits by artist Meir Tati about the Farhud, the pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad in June 1941. The starting point of this project is a story Tati heard from his father, whose nickname, Fuad, “heart” in Arabic, gave the first part of the project its subtitle. According to the story, Tati's uncle was murdered during the Farhud riots, but the details of the story and the date of the uncle's murder do not match the historical facts. From this point, Tati went on a journey involving historical research, the family story, and a reaction to the violent events of the present. He created a strip drawing composed of a series of wall paintings based on pictures from the family album next to historic photos of the Farhud and newspaper photos of violent clashes between Jews and Arabs in Israel in the last year. Next to the wall paintings hangs an extensive work with the word Farhud at its centre, illuminated with green LED light, while in the background plays a video with the soundtrack of singer Aviv Ezra singing in Iraqi Arabic. Like in his previous works, Tati juxtaposes different kinds of memory - personal, collective, and historic - and places personal testimonies, stories and historical documents on the same plane, offering a new interpretation of stories with historic-social-political importance. He proposes thinking afresh about past events and provides a more complex and less one-dimensional perspective on current events.