K-Files: Kuwait Through the Lens of Tarek Al-Ghoussein
Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s “Windows on Work” refer to the migrant workers in the UAE and show windows of their transportation buses at different times. His work explores the boundaries between landscape photography, self-portraiture and performance art. Choosing locations much in the same way a film director does, he moves between abstraction and the specific circumstances found in particular places. The current body of work "Windows on Work” extends the exploration by examining the "window" of the buses that transport the labourers as a place of both, representation and performance.
Image rights: Courtesy the artist and Galerie Brigitte Schenk
In performative photographs and evocative images of landscapes, Tarek Al-Ghoussein explores personal, as well as more widespread, associations with the Middle East. A Palestinian raised in Kuwait and the United States, Al-Ghoussein initially worked as a documentary photographer and photojournalist. His images position distinctively Middle Eastern sites, such as Kuwaiti construction projects or Arabian deserts, against the charged symbols of his heritage, such as walls or the keffiyeh. In his recent “D Series,” Al-Ghoussein photographs himself dwarfed amidst desert expanses, or against fabric walls demarcating new buildings. The wall functions, in his work, as a reference to the Israeli-Palestine conflict and a metaphor for displacement and barriers to cultural heritage.
Palestinian, b. 1962, Kuwait