blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


CAMILLE ZAKHARIA  |  Elusive Homelands

Jochen Sokoly’s Notes to the Reader

The Camille Zakharia Elusive Homelands, at the VCUQ Gallery of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Doha, Qatar, from October 4 through November 8, 2006, contained two independent suites of Zakharia’s work: Elusive Homelands and Cultivate Your Garden.

Elusive Homelands gallery shot
 Camille Zakharia's Elusive Homelands exhibit
 (panels of Cultivate Your Garden visible)
 VCUQ Gallery, Doha, Qatar
 October 4–November 8, 2006
Photo by Larry Koltys 

Elusive Homelands is comprised of two thematic sections: Elusive Homelands—The Prelude and Elusive Homelands—The Immigrants. While the first represents the common memory of separation from one’s family and culture and from those left behind, the second represents the stories of real-life immigrants and their families in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This contrast in content is mirrored by the artist’s choice of different media. While the first is comprised of paintings executed in gouache and pastel, the second consists of photo-collages. Cultivate Your Garden, on the other hand, is a work that reflects on the artist’s life after he left his homeland. In the exhibition, Cultivate Your Garden is placed between the two constituent parts of Elusive Homelands.

This sequence mirrors, as it were, the artist’s own history of emigration: first, his reflection on the mythical past of his homeland; then his own migration; then his reflection on the lives of fellow immigrants in Halfiax.  end of text

This multipart gallery presentation continues in Sokoly's voice with the essay “Displacement and Disapora: The Modern Nomad” then moves to the Zakharia's work, each of the three sections of artwork headed by brief commentary. Jump to any section using the menu below or to any image via the Table of Images. To move sequentially through the entire sequence of documents and images, click next below and continue.