At first glance, the young Palestinian artist Ruba Salameh’s first solo exhibition looks simply like an accomplished collection of abstract works. But look closer and you will see that Salameh has incorporated a peculiar ingredient: hordes of ants crawling around on her canvases.
‘Urbahn Blue’
The ants gathering around Salemeh’s geometric shapes, or huddling in corners, or scattered randomly, bring to mind, according to the gallery’s statement, “the notion of resilience of an indigenous population in a situation where their own living space diminishes continuously as a result of … colonial powers.”
“Slowly and discretely,” the gallery’s statement continues, “the indigenous population’s motions transform into a form of disruption in a challenge to the supremacy of the dominant power.” As the name suggests, Salameh’s show explores tension and integrity.