Athar Jaber

Stoning nr.1

A performance carried out in Birzeit, Palestine, on 30 august 2017.

Stoning nr.2

A performance carried out throughout the exhibition “Panic in Saksen Park” in Hof ter Saksen Park, Beveren, Belgium. 
The incessant throwing of rocks at a marble block represents an attempt to carve it through unconventional methods while addressing socio-political issues related to the act of stoning. 

Offering

In the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria, stones are regarded as both containing and representing their divinities. They are understood to be alive and perceived as sources of power. The stones generally undergo a baptism rite. This allows them to be “born”. The process involves the stone’s washing in a mixture of herbs and water, after which the stones are “fed” with animal blood. 

While standing on the legendary wall of the Malecon in Havana, Athar casts 60 of such stones in the sea in an exercise of letting go.

Conditioning

Inspired by the exercise through which practitioners of martial arts aim to strengthen their hands, in this performance, Athar Jaber attempts to shape a piece of marble by slapping it incessantly with his bare hands.
The repetitive rhythm and movement induces the performer into a trance-like state not too different from that induced by the repetitive rhythm generated when carving a marble block with a hammer and chisel.

Anointing

An investigation focussed on finding a common ground among different religions pointed to the fact that most religions practice rituals that are centered around the anointment of specific stones that are considered sacred.  In this performance Athar Jaber attempt to bring attention to this fact and to unite them all in one overarching ritual. 

Washing

Blood on one side and milk on the other. This performance points to the cyclical, endless, and desperate attempt to wash one’s sins only to commit them again.
 

15 Variations on a Cuban Theme

Carried out at Galleria Continua in Havana, Cuba, the performance is a reenactment of the exchange of coins that took place on the old marble counter. Throughout the years, the marble slate has been shaped by the repetitive gesture between clients and cashiers, making it to all effect a sculptural gesture. The performance is also a criticism to the difference in status between Cuban citizens and tourists as represented by the different currency they are obliged to use. 

Stone Carving Performance

A performance intended to evidence the repetitive gesture and rhythm typical of stone carving which brings the carver into a trance-like state of concentration and flow. 

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