Visual unconscious

Saja Quttaineh

2020 - Ongoing

East Jerusalem, West Bank, Palestinian Territory

I was born and raised in Jerusalem. In my project, I photograph my experiences in Jerusalem and the surrounding neighborhoods and villages to describe the complex structure of the place and its social-political reality. I go out in the early morning to wander and get to know the area. There is no human activity at these hours, but there are clear signs of its presence and impact on the environment. I select to document these signs with an analog medium-format camera. It is not only about documentary photography that seeks to show neglect and disadvantage. I locate and shoot scenes of the accumulation and crossing of different times. The photographs reveal the area's multi-layered nature, indicated by random abandoned objects, forgotten or still in use: cars, gas stations, billboards, construction sites. I isolate these objects from their surroundings and turn them into sculptural objects in the public space. It is a documentation of the "duration" of time, pointing to accretion and slow, motionless, constant change; photography that turns its attention to the visible, which is the subconscious of the place.

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  • Blank billboard due to the corona pandemic, neglected cars and a mountain of garbage in Kalndia neighborhood, Jerusalem city, 2021

  • Gas station in Kalndia neighborhood, Jerusalem city, 2021.

  • Blank billboards due to the corona pandemic in Al-Ram town, 2021.

  • Car parking behind the billboards in Al-Ram town, 2021

  • A mountain of neglected cars (Car graveyard) and behind it a disorganized building in Al-Ram town, 2021.

  • Abandoned house because there is no building permit to complete it or to build it in Shuafat neighborhood, Jerusalem city, 2021.

  • Car graveyard and some discarded things all covered in dust in Kalndia neighborhood, Jerusalem city, 2021.

  • Many tires in the backyard of a house in Shuafat neighborhood, Jerusalem city, 2021

  • The palace of King Hussein of Jordan, whose construction was halted due to the Israeli occupation of the area in 1967 in Beit Hanina neighborhood, Jerusalem city, 2021.