via Modern Art Notes:
Where We Come From (2001-2003) was the breakthrough work for Jacir, a Palestinian-born artist who splits her time between Ramallah, Rome and New York City. Jacir made the work by using her U.S. passport to gain entrance to Palestinian lands normally difficult or impossible to reach with a Palestinian passport. Once in Palestine, she fulfilled the wishes of Palestinians who had sent her requests, acting as a kind of DJ of geopolitical wanderlust. Jacir then photo-documented her performance of achingly simple requests: "Go to Haifa and play soccer with the first Palestinian boy you see on the street," and so on. The finished work features Jacir's disposable camera-style snapshots along with the text of the requests she received, printed in both English and Arabic. A detail is at left and below.
The 'extra' SFMOMA wall-text, printed in subscript beneath a more traditional museum-style text read:
SFMOMA is committed to exhibiting and acquiring works by local, national and international artists that represent a diversity of viewpoints and positions. Works of art can engender valuable discussion about a range of topics including those that are difficult and contested, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Additional information about Emily Jacir's Where We Come From, including a list of frequently asked questions, is available at the information desk in the Haas Atrium.
While Where We Come From specifically references the Palestinian diaspora and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it also touches on familiar art historical themes of the journey and the emotional pain of diaspora and separation. The 'extra' wall-text seems to reduce the Jacir to a work of art about one political situation.
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