Home Open Call Proposal: Salons - Collections of Memory and Loss

Open Call Proposal: Salons - Collections of Memory and Loss

Open Call: 

The A. M. Qattan Foundation invites visual artists to submit proposals for consideration for an upcoming group exhibition with a working title “Salons - Collections of Memory and Loss.”

This exhibition examines the objects and works that shape the identity of Palestinian homes hanging on the walls of salons. The project was created as a follow-up to an online project entitled On the Wall, begun during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. The aim of the project was to collect video clips from people across Palestine as they described the stories behind paintings, family photos, historical materials and other objects mounted on the walls of their homes.

Home, as a notion for Palestinians, is intertwined with many metaphors and meanings, and is both a place of rootedness and displacement. Rootedness commonly refers to the land—occupied homeland—and displacement from it in reference to dispossessed Palestinians in the diaspora and refugee camps. Land is a major component of the imagination of home. Home is, therefore, the place where one tills the land, waters a vine tree and tastes the honey-sweet fig on summer mornings. Home is a reflection of its dwellers and their tangible and intangible cultural heritage—whether in the broad language of landscape, in the urban fabric of cities and villages or in the material culture of collected objects in their salons.

Salons are spaces of hospitality and guesthood, articulated in the image of a domestic museum: a collection on display that constructs the identity of the families’ household and their beliefs, social strata and kinship. The material culture of salons exhibit relationships of loss and memory, celebrating both ancestral life and death. Shrine-like constructions within them act as glorifying memorials celebrating patriarchal kinship, martyrdom and lost political leaders or cultural figures. Nonetheless, the prevailing urbanisation of Palestine and its pursued modernity can be traced to salons, through the eroding relationship to the landscape represented in floral motifs, synthetic plants, scenic paintings on the wall and pots of exotic flora.

These spaces conjure stories of how we practice our faith, relate to the world, present our treasures and cater to our guests. Salons thus become small domestic museums of memory, recollection and representation, preserving and reflecting on ever-changing Palestinian identities.

The exhibition aims to look specifically at the objects on the walls, forming the home’s physical nature while symbolising the family’s identity and their social, religious and political inclinations. Around 10 to 15 artists will be chosen and provided with a circular floating space of about three metres in diameter to showcase their installations throughout the A.M Qattan Foundation Building and outdoor spaces. The exact locations of the installations will be determined together with the curator after the artist selections. Selected artists are required to produce an installation that speaks to the exhibition theme. Submitted sketches and proposals will be reviewed by a committee and, if approved, later developed with the curator to fit within the available spaces. Selected proposals should also consider shifts in space and light depending on the installation’s location in the building.

The A.M Qattan Foundation offers $500 for artist fees and $1,500 for production fees per installation. Proposals submitted by more than one artist will receive the same amount of funds per installation.

Technical assistance to install the work will be provided by the foundation; however, any other specialised technical requirements must be arranged and paid for by the participating artists (carpenter, builder, blacksmith, gardener, lighting specialist, sound specialist, etc.).


Application Form here: https://bit.ly/3wvVhuZ 

Deadline for submission: 15 November 2021

Committee meeting: 16 November 2021

Announcement participating artists: 23 November 2021

Contracting artists: by 1 December 2021

Development of works with curator: 1 December to 15th December 2021

Review with technical team: 1 to 7 February 2022

Installation at the Foundation: 1 February to 10 March 2022

Exhibition opening: March 2022


Photo Credit: (Untitled, Fayez Baraghithi’s house, Photographed by Mahdi Baraghithi, Betunia, Palestine - 2021)