2002 – <em>Jericho First</em>, Sharif Waked

In this series of 32 images in acrylic on canvas, Sharif Waked (b.1964), born in Nazareth, responds to the political situation and the original motto of the Oslo Accords, “Jericho First.” The artist’s first canvas and point of departure is a motif from the mosaic floor of Hisham’s Palace in Jericho, a gem of eighth century Muslim art, which depicts a lion devouring a deer. As the work on display at the Israel Museum progresses, its figures merge, and it becomes increasingly difficult to determine where the lion ends and the deer begins, until the final picture is one large red stain with a barely apparent small hoof. For Waked, the blurring into one large field of color raises the questions of who is the hunter, who is the hunted and who even remembers how the conflict began. (Image copyright Israel Museum, Jerusalem; copyright the artist, purchased by ARTVISION Acquisitions Committee, Israel)