Tanya Habjouqa's The Sacred Space Oddity is an elegiac meditation on the interaction of the physical and psychological space encompassed in the loaded, often effacing, phrase 'Holy Land'. Successfully documenting life in Israel and Palestine requires a powerful and uncomfortable capacity for empathy, and an ability to accept the existence of two contradictory and often hostile realities at once. The Sacred Space Oddity takes a perspective closer to the ground, exploring the confidential, intimate urges, hopes, fears, and choices that weave the living tapestry on which the conflict is played out.
The characters featured in these images are metaphorical co-authors of this project; their understandings of the land will be embedded within the imagery in a participatory excavation of their experience and socio-political imaginaries. Challenging both reductive media narratives and the simplifying mythologies that emerge in conflict, the work engages a diverse cast of characters, modulating between realist and surrealist aesthetics deployed against the backdrop of everyday occurrences in the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. This exhibition of immersive audio-visual work offers a multitude of ways to learn and unlearn the material and psychic space that defines the so-called ‘Holy Land’.