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R O U N D  W E A T H E R

  Manȃr arb: Of Land and Language

         May 4 - June 8, 2024

         Reception: Saturday May 4, 4 - 6 PM 

           Performance: Saturday May 25, 6-6:30 PM            

          Viewing Room (forthcoming)

Round Weather is honored to present Manȃr Ḥarb’s paintings, book art, and movement performance in Of Land and Language.  Ḥarb is a researcher, poet, and artist whose work springs up from nature and bodily experience as well as her Palestinian heritage and mother tongue of Arabic.  She grew up in Ramallah, Palestine amid the life-draining viciousness of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and its apartheid state regime.  Yet her art is full of the life-giving synergy generated between land and language.  Her paintings place us in a surging and calming state of being that sees the sinews of our bodies as close-ups of plants, as abstract aerial visions of earth and water, as sound waveforms and letter shapes spiritually embodied. 

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Of Land and Language exhibits paintings Ḥarb made while she transitioned from Palestine to Oakland, which offers her another window onto the relationship between indigenous peoples and their land.  The paintings were completed during and after her time at Mills College, where she obtained an MFA in Book Art & Creative Writing.  As a teacher of Arabic, Ḥarb’s art often explores messages derived from characters in the Arabic alphabet.  Specifically, she draws inspiration from the muqaṭṭa’āt (mysterious letters), combinations of between one and five Arabic letters that open 29 of the 114 chapters of the Qurān and whose meaning is widely theorized and inconclusively open.  Ḥarb’s one-of-a-kind painted book NŪN, which removes every letter from the Qurān besides nūn, and her paintings and performance art seek to speak the language these mysterious letters themselves might speak, both in their visual and phonetic expressions, how they appear to the eye and inside the body.  The connective tissues between art forms and language insinuate her understanding of literacy, the world, and ourselves.  

As with all Round Weather exhibitions, a large part of the proceeds from artworks sold in Manȃr Ḥarb: Of Land and Language will be donated to three nonprofits working to mitigate the climate crisis, which for 2024 are Elevate, Evergreen Action, and Third Act.  Ḥarb is also providing visitors the opportunity to donate to relief initiatives for Palestinian medical workers and displaced families in the Gaza Strip.  Ḥarb directs all funds to community members working on the ground in Gaza to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

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