edna al-najar

ادنى النجار

“Nothing you see on this show is fake.

It’s merely

controlled.” *


*Qoute by Marlon on Trumanshow

Installations


المنشآت

2024

TITLE:

“They Tried to Bury Us, They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds”*


لقد حاولوا دفننا

ولم يعلموا أننا بذور”

In 2015, farmer Tariq Al-Haddad made an extraordinary discovery on his palm plantation in Abu Al-Khaseeb in southern Iraq (Basra).

He had various climbing belts to climb the palm trees for the date harvest.

Among them were the remains of climbing belts after the destruction and arson of the palm plantations caused by the government during the Gulf Wars in 1980-1988 and 1990/91 and by the US military in 2003-2011.


Tariq saw that these remains seemed to have changed or transformed in unusual ways.


One of the belts had been completely modified.

In his diary, Tariq Al-Haddad described the experience he had when he came into contact with the strange, transformed, now metallic climbing belt.


A year later, a similar change was noticed on one of the many water buffalo corpses in the river Shatt Al Arab (Basra). A herder named Zaid Al-Muktashif noticed something very strange. The increasing number of dead water buffaloes due to polluted and excessively salty river water for ecological and political reasons is a common situation for herders in Iraq.

But Zaid has never seen such a bone change on a water buffalo skull before.

Shiny and metallic.





*Qoute by Dinos Christianopoulos

Rectangle Border Frame

<<Habool / Kerr me'den>> - Metal form of the climbing belt for palm trees

Metal construct. Rope belt transformed into metal. Presumed to be the result of natural adaptation. Seen as true cultural heritage in Iraq.

After its discovery, the 'fossil' is perceived by the Iraqi people, especially the peasantry, as a symbol of invincibility.

In a ceremonial form, it can be tied around the body to give strength.

The belt is one of the most important finds in Iraq.

Metal webbing

Basra, Iraq Date 2015

Rectangle Border Frame

<<Jemas al ma'>> - Water buffalo skull with 'metal adaptation'

The skull of the water buffalo is equipped with an attached metal layer and metallic plate.

Iraq, date 2016

Translation

“Dead palm trunks surrounded me. Conversations and laughter from yesterday's friends floated in the air. A yesterday that was long ago.

I walked to linger in what once was.

When I saw the sparkle of the ground. I thought they were sandstones glittering with the stars in the sky.

I moved closer and there was metal hidden in the ground.

The metal formed a كر (kerr).

I tied it around me.

Just like I always do to get to the top of a palm tree.

Back then, I could see everything from above. Close, very close, all the beautiful lush green leaves, decorated with orange-brown fruits.

But the metal that wrapped around me made me sink to the ground. The heaviness of the metal obviously pulled me down.

Down into the earth.

I was swallowed up by the ground as if by quicksand.

I trusted the strange place I now found myself in.

I saw creatures from my childhood.

But also colors, shapes and forms, of memories that are not mine.

Hidden witnesses of time.

Naked fish without eyes led me to buffalo with injuries, protected by shiny metal scales. Hemispheres, floating filled with patterns of memories and nostalgia.

I seemed to be in the water, I seemed to be in the air.

All the fragments that were gone after suffering and injustice were there.

Every particle reborn, every wound healed and strengthened.”

Rectangle Border Frame

Diary entry of an Arab farmer

Manuscript in Arabic form

Arab farmers usually documented their lives and plantation processes in such diaries. Here is a description of the metal harness.

( Text translation see label 1)

Leather binding, paper, ink Basra, Iraq Date 2015

Rectangle Border Frame

<<Habool / Kerr >> - Climbing belt for palms

Woven from natural and synthetic fiber ropes. Flexible throwing stick made of metal wires with wooden hooks.

Wrapped around the back by Arab farmers to reach the top of the palm tree. A climbing construction for harvesting dates and other stone and nuts.

Origin : Iraq Entrance to the museum : 1950

<<Kerr>>

ﻛﺮ

/ <<Habool>>

ﺣﺎﺑﻮل

The palm climbers use a specific " belt construction" the so-called <<Habool>>) / ​<<kerr>> to climb the palm trees and cut off and harvest the date bundles from the crown of the ​tree. A method of date picking used for over 6000 years in southern Iraq.


Here you can see one of the belts, as well as the documentation of a moment of the harvest and ​the use of the belt.

Farmer Hazim Al-Najjar shows us how the traditional belts are used.

Barefoot, without any sturdy shoes, he climbs up the palm tree.

The belt construction supports his back and helps him climb up.

Many palm trees grow very tall. There are even palm trees that can grow up to 60 meters high. ​The protection provided by the palm belt is therefore very helpful for the farmers.There are also ​new ways of harvesting the fruit of the palm trees.

However, many farmers still fall back on this conventional form.


For conservation reasons, the belt on display here cannot be used, but it is shown here to

remind us of the diversity of harvesting tools in human society.

do you believe in time travel?


2023

TITLE:

“On the train we swapped seats, you wanted the window

and I wanted to look at you.”*



في القطار تبادلنا المقاعد ، كنتِ تريدين النافذة وكنتُ أريد أن أطل عليكِ

What it the relation between clothing and safety in a public space?

Where are the limits here ?

Clothing for self-protection, protection against rejection, against racism, exoticization, exclusion, fear of deportation.


The starting point and inspiration for this work is an old photo of my father (1989).

In the picture you can see him at the train station on his arrival in Germany (Crailsheim small town in Baden-Württemberg) . He left his home Basra Iraq.

Why was he dressed like that? I knew pictures of him in Iraq in Dischdascha (traditional male garb) and Keffiyeh with slippers on his feet. But In this one he was dressed very differently.


I recreated the photo in the summer of 2023, in exactly the same place in Crailsheim.

(unfortunately my father no longer has the clothes he was wearing the day back then), so I tried to recreate his clothes after a long search in clothing and online stores.

I made also other 3 versions where I played with the clothes and variations of them.

My dad took the photos of me that day.




*Qoute by Mahmoud Darwish

Original Photo of my Dad (1989)



four 60cmx60cm Prints on Alu-Dibond

2023

TITLE:

No title

Material : olive oil , water , sodium hydroxide




بدون عنوان



Adapted soap replica ( one to one scale) of the clay tablet from Mesopotamia with the world's first surviving soap recipe.

Clay tablet today on display at the Penn Museum , Philadelphia U.S.


Extract from the original recipe:

„Arrange the rushes over the hands and feet of the sick man (….)

scrub the sick spot with all of it.

After scrubbing, rub with vegetable oil , cover with pulverized fir (…)“



Originally written in sumeric. Recipe on soap replica translated and written in arabic.


Photo of the original clay tablet.

Original dimensions (same as replica)

L :15,4cm , W:9,4cm , H: 2,8cm

VideoS/Animations

الرسوم المتحركة

No title

Material : olive oil , water , sodium hydroxide



Wormhole



2022

TITLE:

الثقب الدودي

Video/ Animation & Sound




lenght 3:42 min

For this exhibition there were two rooms in two different locations. One dark run-down club "White Noise" in Stuttgart, and one empty electronic store, in the Neckarstraße in Stuttgart. (The Locations are approx 2km apart) I decided to animate a video that would be exhibited in these two places. It was supposed to function as a portal between the two places. A video that could break space and time. A portal that might allow time travel. I created different animations and combined them with pictures of the real space. Some frames remind classically of a portal, and some frames illustrate an imagination of time and its possible distortion and curvature. The sound for this work I "composed" and created myself as well as combined with Sound Fragments from online footage I collected and mixed. In the location White Noise this video animation was beamed on a small cache. A small Spot like a small Crack in Time. And in the room in Neckarstraße it was projected onto a large, strangely plastered old wall, seems like a lost place in The Future. When the portal went into action, the sound was distorted by a space-time shift and voices could be heard.

White Noise Stuttgart

Neckarstraße Stuttgart

FILMSTILLS:

FULL VIDEO

2021

TITLE:

now you see me now you don’t

الآن تراني الآن لا تراني


lenght 3:30 min

Video/ Animation & Sound



When a glitch becomes visible (e.g. when playing a video game), it seems as if a solid concept shows a weak side. A virtual construct that seems stable and well thought out to one or the other, gets shattered and fragile.

The video and sound work was created in times of Covid-19, a time when politics, public opinion, the media and the system collided in a new way. Racism and visibly different consequences and reactions across the world between the privileged and the underprivileged.

An unexpected error and the resulting loss of control.

The repetitions, the stagnation, the stuckness and the stress can create their own character, a certain space and a special and strange aesthetic.

At the same time, it is also reminds of a degeneration and loss of control in 'real' life in our 'real' world.


It seemed to me that glitches in the virtual world give a language to anxiety and panic in the real world

A visible gap in between. A bug that exposes.

Who thought the game through? Who controls whom? Who reacts how?Which mistakes are intentional and which are uncontrolled? Should it only appear that you are in control?

FILMSTILLS:

FULL VIDEO

video mixed out of handdraw animations and filmed material by me. I created the sound from many individually collected sound fragments mixed in a digital sound program. The spoken text at the beginning ,is written by a friend and writer. The content of the text , except that it's main topic is glitches, was unknown to me until the very last moment, in order to get an addition to 'the loss of control' suiting the glitch topic.

exhibited in ABKStuttgart

2021

TITLE:

ORANGE RICKY

ريكي البرتقالي

Video installation wood, cotton, glass, 1,65x1,00m, videoAnimation inside


lenght 1:19min

I built a small walk-in form out of wood. The viewer steps into the object and is confronted with a "new " stopmotion drawed animated room instead with an actual room/or passageway/exit which may be expected.

The viewer can look outside the shape from a black colored window. Meanwhile it is not possible from outside to look inside. In the video, the form of the physical walk-in object appears “manipulatively”, between an animated subjective view of the actual room outside, accompanied by somewhat "annoying" futuristic-sounding house music ( no self-made music , possibly replaceable) .

Maybe a claustrophobic constricting effect occurs, or even a glimpse of the feeling of "becoming” that object/shape , through the penetrating appearance of the form in the video.

The work came out of my fascination with how propaganda works in this game called life.

The title has its origin from the "shape-names" from the game tetris.

FILMSTILLS:

FULL VIDEO

PAINTINGS

لوحات

SELFPORTRAITS


تصوير شخصي

NO TITLE

20x25cm acrylic on canvas

10/2021

NO TITLE

20x25cm acrylic on canvas

10/2021

BREAKING CHANNEL

80x80cm acrylic on jute

12/2021

PRAYER IN THE BUS

100X100cm acrylic on jute

01/2022

PIN IN MY MOUTH

70x70cm acrylic on canvas

05/2022


We always ate together.

Every evening a noisy gathering.

In Iraq, we sat on my cousin's beautiful carpet. In Bosnia we sat in the garden between plum trees and raspberry bushes.

I would leave tomorrow…

-they kissed and waved

I saw prosperity that got lost.

That strayed, but never wanted to be dead.

I was leaving tomorrow.

I am a privileged observer.

PRIVILEGED OBSERVER

120cm x 80cm

acrylic on canvas

12/2022

VERY MOMENT

120cm x 160cm

acrylic on canvas

03/2023


DIARY

مذكرة


small formats about 7x12cm

chalk, fineliner, acryl