September 9 – November 19, 2023
In her work, Noor Abuarafeh addresses the construction of memory, the politics of archiving, and that which is omitted within the dominant historical narrative. Through an examination of sub-narratives, the artist investigates different forms of remembering outside the linear conception of time, resisting the division of past, present, and future. Her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany presents a new video work alongside four existing films made over the past ten years.
Abuarafeh’s practice draws on immaterial references and oral traditions in order to reflect the often corrupt dynamics of storytelling and devise a different kind of history. This also pertains to the works exhibited in Munich, all of which pursue a similar question: what are the material realities versus the constructed narratives of remembering? By questioning the possibility of representing past events while what can be referred to is, for the most part, immaterial, Abuarafeh explores how collective memory becomes the carrier of an imagined archive.
The artist’s new work, The Moon is a Sun Returning as a Ghost (2023), follows the case of seventeen exhibitions by Palestinian artists. Each contained different artworks, the majority of which are considered missing today: caught in loops of administrative infrastructures that attest to political conflict, the works could not be returned to the artists and were instead moved from one storage facility to another. The video focuses on how the immateriality of missing objects affects our memory of them. With the works on view at Kunstverein München, Abuarafeh shows us that by poetically liberating historiography from its objecthood, more resistive narratives can emerge that extend beyond the mere construction of (national) subjecthood.
The Moon is a Sun Returning as a Ghost is co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and École de design et haute école d’art du Valais.
 Video still: Noor Abuarafeh, The Moon is a Sun Returning as a Ghost, 2023. Courtesy the artist.
 Video still: Noor Abuarafeh, Am I the Ageless Object at the Museum?, 2018. Courtesy the artist.