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Returning to Gaza from Paris, Batniji would busy himself cleaning up his studio there, only to find that the territory's poverty and imminent violence made work impossible.As the figurative pencil shavings accumulated, it dawned on the artist that his peculiar practice of burning through idleness left material traces. It's been restaged for "Customs Made: Quotidian Practices & Everyday Rituals," a group exhibition curated by Nat Muller and Livia Alexander at Sharjah's Maraya Art Center.Batniji's work is mounted in a stagelike false room within Maraya's main hall. Formally speaking, the two works that speak to one another most naturally are "Hannoun," the spatial epicenter of the show, and "FIRE/CAST/DRAW" (2013), a Rayyane Tabet work whose thematic tie to Batniji's is ritual – in this case both the quotidian practice of creating the piece and the supernatural premise it evokes.While reducing the tragedy of human displacement to the status of mundane practice, Yassin's series is among several works here that speak less explicitly to the matter of temporality than the theme of childhood, common to Tabet's and Batniji's works.
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