“Self Healing” is a book that I started in a master class with photographer and collage artist Hiroko Komatsu. I incorporated my film photographs of New York’s cityscape and ephemera from my personal archives to create a story of self. I consider the book object as a self-portrait. This book is not a pristine object. It is not “pure” either. It’s not supposed to be either of those things despite (and in spite of) all that I’ve learned in the book arts. Books and photos are only projections of reality: this book captures what I see, therefore it is merely a projection of how I see myself.
“Aim at text” is an installation consisting of reproductions of family photographs taken at a gravesite in Palestine in 1977, and a screen recording of a google image translation of the text on the tombstone. The text is of a tombstone, which is rendered into a series of algorithmic phrases, some of which were poetic and dark, others were strange and comedic. However, all the translations were totally wrong. When interacting with the installation, I ask that the viewer interpret the layers of text; the legibility; the text as it relates to the images; the setting in which the photograph was taken; as well as the image within the image.
This work represents my interest in working with archives and photographic materials. I am a third-generation American Palestinian. My family has been in New York for three generations. My ancestors have been in Jerusalem for as long as we can trace. Between both cities, I feel rootedness and seeding at the same time. I feel most rooted in my creative practice, where each work adds to a larger constellation of self-discovery.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jenna Hamed is an art worker, writer, and photographer based in Queens. Hamed obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising from Eastern Michigan University, and a Master’s Degree in Arts Politics from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is currently an independent artist and organizer working on a number of literary and photography projects, many of which are collaborative and participatory. Her text- and image-based works can be found in several online and print publications, as well as in her e-zine and mail subscription publications, which she sends out on a monthly basis.
© Jenna Hamed