Ghawar Real Estate 2018 - Curator Idris
“Ghawar Real Estate” is a site specific installation created by Hamody Gannam and David Havrony for Hanut31-Theater and Gallery, which is located in south Tel Aviv. Two windows looking onto the street, balancing between fiction and authenticity. On the left window is an advertisement for a luxury apartment with open sea view for sale in the Old Jaffa Port, price: 12 million shekels. This apartment is genuinely available on the market. The right window is filled with numerous advertisements for homes in Tel Aviv and Jaffa marked as “sold.” In this context the term ‘sold’ manifests both commercial success and unavailability of sources, and arouses questions on the reasons that led to the sale, for instance whether it was undertaken by necessity, imposition or choice. The exhibit treads between historical and contemporary themes: part of the images used in these fabricated advertisements are archival sources collected by Gannam, while others are real estate photographs taken by Havrony and originally produced to catch the attention of authentic contemporary homebuyers. The entirety of the text incorporated in the installation is in Arabic, a choice emphasizing local identity discourse and pointing to the phenomena of Jewish gentrification of Jaffa homes enabled by the Israeli real estate boom. This theme is associated to a larger context too, the exhibition takes its name from Al-Ghawar, the world’s largest oil field located in eastern Saudi Arabia. By choosing this name, the artists wish to underline the complex and global link between political agreements, economic calculations and land value.