- SAADEH Raeda, Vacuum, 2007.
Raeda Saadeh est une artiste de renommée internationale à la fois plasticienne et performeuse, née à um El Fahem en Palestine. Elle obtient sa licence et maîtrise à l’école des Arts et du design de Jérusalem. Elle remporte le premier prix de l’AM QATTAN de Jeune artiste de l’année en 2000. Son travail photographique, vidéo et performances a été exposé largement à un niveau international, en Europe et aux États-Unis. On ne peut oublier les oeuvres très saisissantes de Raeda Saadeh comme ‘‘Vacuum’’, un film qui la représente passant l’aspirateur dans une partie du désert entre la Palestine et Israël réinterprétant ainsi le mythe de Sisyphe dans une quotidienneté domestique et féminine très politique. Vacuum a été présenté dans le cadre de Dream City 2010.
— Raeda Saadeh was born in Umm al-Fahm, Palestine, in 1977 and studied at the Bezabel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, where she lives today. Saadeh’s work uses the body as a tool to explore identity, gender and space as well as the relationship between place and the self. Her performances, videos and photo works are preoccupied with borders as a cultural, topographical and physical phenomenon.
The two-channel video performance Vacuum shows the artist vacuuming the barren hills of Palestine. This absurd but simple act not only casts a critical shadow on gender roles, but also relocates the act of vacuuming and cleaning, which is traditionally ascribed to women, from the private sphere into a politically charged space: ‘‘In one sense, however, the mountain is already ‘cleaned’: it contains only stones, no people live in the area. Viewing this work, a Palestinian spectator couldn’t help but recall the Zionist slogan: a land without people for a people without a land.’’ (Aida Nasrallah)
— « The woman as an occuring subject in my installations of performance work is represented as living in a state of occupation. This occupation or occupying force is issued through political conditions within her environment and this results in influencing the otherwise peaceful quality of her world. There are both private and public elements that manipulate this world.
The occupying force has many facets: it can take the shape of physical tangible realities of the everyday, such as in a wall of concrete, a fence, a checkpoint, a curfew, a barrier of stone – or it can reassign the force unto a face of a child, a home, a language, and cultural, traditional expectations. There are limitations on her personal freedom as well: the woman, the mother, the lover, the guide, the protector. She seeks justice and longs for change. She is not blind to the opponents around her and pushes forward with enduring strength – and at times, she feels that it is almost as if she has assume a sort of madness in her behavior so that she can live unharmed by oppression, in an attempt to always protect those she loves form nefative forces of fear.
In my art works, the woman I represent lives in a world that attacks her values, her love, her spirit on a daily basis, and for this reason, she is in a state of occupation – and her world could be here in Palestine or elsewhere; and despite all, she looks towards her future with a smile.
In the photograph ‘‘Untitled’’, 2005, I am photographed wearing a gentlemen’s suit complete with a formal tie, but I am wearing the suit backwards.
In this work, I am attempting to express the masculine dominance that is so prominent within our culture, but my wearing the suit backwards is my own intervention, commenting on the necessity to view things otherwise and from a non-masculine-dominated perspective. The gentlemen’s suit does not have any particular cultural identity and could be worn by any man from anywhere within the world.
The subject/woman I represent in the majority of my work is weighed down with oppression but is filled with ambition; she is saner than she should be and yet she is also a little mad. She is both fragile and strong, she is fully aware and responsive, and she is constantly on the move. And every move she makes, every act, is an act that exhibits awareness towards her surrounding environement, while simultaneously being an act of revolt towards social orders/conditions.
In the new video project, ‘‘Vacuum’’, 2007, commissioned by the 8th Sharjah Biennial, I am seen in a desert landscape, attempting to vacuum the sand of the desert. It is an endless process, as I move across the sands in a continuous vacuuming motion, in an attempt to question how much life is given and how much taken? »
(works and text by Raeda Saadeh, Jerusalem, Palestine, 2003/07)
(http://www.citysharing.ch/invited-projects~87.html, consulté le 5 janvier 2015)