Banakil <3



Petah-Tikva Museum of Art
Curator: Noam Segal.

Exhibition: Sick Fireflies and Lightnings in Jar 2019 Petah-Tikva Museum of Art

Curator: Noam Segal

Hamody Gannam's work is akin to a corpus of the "self" a collection of impressions and memories, anecdotes and events he deems significant. The viewer is invited to stand in the center of this cluster, to penetrate the collection Banakil, of images Comprising it, and choose what to look at and when. Its underlying logic or order is associated with the local card game Banakil, which disallows a tie or a single winner since the winner must take into account the situation of the other players. The game requires complicity, and cooperation whether as a strategy or out of altruism so that one who plays alone will invariably lose. There is no victory without collaboration.

Gannam takes us on a journey that transpires in between a "stream of consciousness" and a "news feed"; a journey along an incessant flux of images, memories, and impressions that correspond with one another: places in the artist's life; excerpts from 1950s Israeli propaganda broadcasts encouraging European Jews to immigrate to Haifa, his hometown; violent scenes from the computer gaming scene and characters from "Mortal Kombat"; footage from the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds, and (animation of Israeli football players such as Rifaat (Jimmy Turk) and Zahi Armeli; twerking in contemporary Saudi uspices of the Kuwaiti army, organized to encourage the Palestinians in, various toilets representing an economy of physical;1967;fitness as much as they allude to the father of readymade doggy-style positions juxtaposed by singing excerpts from Emsallam Hdaib, an exiled Palestinian singer whose songs challenge every presumption about his ideology. The excerpts are all soaked in bacterial cultures which Gannam grew in the studio from his own skin, and infected with his DNA. Toward the end of the loop, a friend of the artist's father explains the rules of the game, translated into the four most widely-spoken languages in the world, so that every image and image constellation acquires yet another, strategic meaning: Which image is placed under which color? What is red and what is blue? Is purple possible at all?