Manna’s work draws formal inspiration from khabyas, traditional seed storage vessels that were a key feature of rural Levantine architecture, paired with metal structures used in industrial storage systems. These seed chambers were built directly into the interior of homes as a means of preserving grains for sowing and annual consumption. In many ways, these vessels were predecessors to refrigerators. Manna’s clay sculptures, Cache (Insurance Policy), play explicitly with this notion, featuring gridded structures found in other kinds of climate- controlled industrial storage systems, such as seed banks. The vessels extend the artist’s insightful explorations into the transformation of systems of sustenance and knowledge from practices of survival to centralized economies of capital growth.
Commissioned in part by the Toronto Biennial of Art.
Jumana Manna (born in Princeton, NJ, USA; lives in Berlin, Germany) is a Palestinian artist whose work shifts between sculpture and film, body and land, narrative and form. Her practice explores how power is articulated through relationships, often focusing on the body and materiality in relation to narratives of nationalism and histories of place. Manna is a graduate of CalArts, Valencia and Oslo National Academy of the Arts.
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