Tarzan and Arab, ‘Gazawood’

5 – 15 February

private view Thursday 5 February 6 – 9 pm

Tarzan and Arab (real names Ahmad and Mohammad Abu Nasser) were born in Gaza in 1988, a year after the last cinemas there were closed. Long-time cinephiles, the identical twin brothers, who now live in Jordan, developed their passion for cinema with the help of Palestinian filmmaker Khalil Al Mozian.

The names they have adopted as artists were nicknames from their childhood and on the surface these are a child’s dream of Hollywood/Western adventure. But as posters for films they currently have little chance of making, a much darker reality intrudes into their innocent wish-fulfillment. The titles, which also have their relationship to the classic Western and indeed the Biblical Epic, were conjoured up for them by more serious strategists (with real guns rather than props), in the shape of the Israeli Defence Force who coined these names for their military campaigns.

The verisimilitude of the 15 posters in this exhibition (barcodes, DVD logos, credits real and imagined) make more poignant the gap between fantasy and actuality. A testimony to and an indictment of the economic blockade. The protagonists are always themselves, they are the goodies and the baddies, twin brothers in a civil war with no-one to shout ‘cut!’.

An allegory of war, art and authorship, fiction and reality.

They won the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award in 2010 with this series of posters and their short film ‘Colourful Journey’ 2010 which we are also showing.

(Tarzan & Arab are shown courtesy of the A.M. Qattan Foundation)