Broken Weddings

File 2-17-18, 9 34 45 PMIn 2017, an old Palestinian embroidered wedding dress (thobe) was exhibited for sale in an Israeli auction and it was obvious that the dress was never worn.

The dress provoked my imagination and it brought to my mind Hemingway’s very short story “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn”.

I contacted the auction house to get more information. I was told that the seller is an Israeli who inherited the dress from his father. His father was a member in the Haganah groups and he claimed that he found the dress in one of the abandoned Arab houses during the Nakbah of 1948.

I started wondering: why would a bride leave behind a dress that she spent years embroidering? Was her fiancé a fighter then a martyr, that’s why she abandoned the dress, which became a burden of past memories, to run to a shelter? Or perhaps she was in her home then killed by the man who stole the dress? In all cases, the wedding never took place…

I reconstructed the details of dresses from several depopulated villages using balls of yarn. I replaced each stitch with a whole new ball that was never used to embroider any piece… Dresses that were not embroidered, broken weddings, unperformed songs, unbuilt homes, unborn children.

The balls of yarn are aligned like gravestones, like bags of corpses after a disaster, like abandoned beehives, like dried wells.

Threads unable to liberate themselves from their balls to say what they have to say… Broken weddings, witnesses of the possibilities of lives that were amputated in 1948…Palestinian Dress

 

 

 

Hashem and Berni 2-01Broken Weddings in Beit Jibrin
2018
462 x166 cm
3564 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base

beit Jibrin

Broken Weddings in Deir Nakhas
2018
332 x166 cm
2592 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base
A0BC3CF3-DFF9-4987-840D-7678773C5D26-1357-000000C9A64849A3
Broken Weddings in Al-Dawayima
2018
166 x166 cm
1296 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base
Broken Weddings in Ramleh
2018
124.5 x 124.5 cm
729 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base
Broken Weddings in Salameh
2018
124.5 x 124.5 cm
729 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base
Broken Weddings in Lifta
2018
124.5 x 124.5 cm
729 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base
File 2-17-18, 9 36 05 PM

Dress at PM

The dress exhibited at “Labour of Love: New Approaches to Palestinian Embroidery” exhibition at the Palestine Museum after it was acquired by researcher and collector George Alama.
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone