Toufic Abdul-Al, Rhythms of a Different Time
Times and places are multiplied by merely immersing into the artistic journey of Palestinian artist Toufic Abdul-Al. One has to knock on many doors to come closer to the world of the artist and explore the essence of his being. He has his language and his sails that he erects to direct his boat into the direction he wants. You follow him to one place while he strays you into another. It is the self-journey that indulges in the details of up-rootedness and exile as well as resistance and hope. It is a journey in time and place.
The exhibition is not a retrospective, but rather a chronicle of a bustling life that takes us to the renewed world of Toufic Abdul-Al, a world full with the richness of his artistic experiences, his life and struggle. We look for Toufic in his innocent time by re-imagining his city and muse, Acre. We follow his forced exile, and we stumble upon bewilderedness and confusion within himself. He diverted its rhythm by finding haven in the first well of his secrets, filled with dreams and victory. Toufic also erects his sails and turns his anchor towards an existential world away from the ghost of the restraints of a life full of exile and nostalgia. Once more, he opens up his chest to the wind and rides his stallion as a militant towards his wounded homeland. Toufic grows up, and his wondering widens, and his dream grows bigger than ever. He went back to create a bright human being that he had hidden in his world and carried with him from the first source of his secret. Many elements intersected into the essence and spirit of Toufic: yearning, illusion, dream and resistance, all grew to illustrate the story of Toufic and his unique artistic experience in its place and time.
Toufic Abdul-Al was born in the Palestinian city of Acre, in 1938. He was exiled to Lebanon in 1948 and lived there until his death in 2002.