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Kaleem Hawa

Kaleem Hawa has written about art, film, and literature for the New York Review of Books, The Nation, and Artforum, among others.



Articles Available Online


Hating it Lush: On Tel Aviv

Essay

May 2023

Kaleem Hawa

Essay

May 2023

I   They made the desert bloom, tall sparkling towers and clean Bauhaus lines, and apple-ring acacias, and teal blue shuttle buses, and stock...

Poetry

Issue No. 28

Three poems from issue 28

Sarah Barnsley

Valzhyna Mort

Kaleem Hawa

Poetry

Issue No. 28

Valzhyna Mort, ‘Music for Girl’s Voice and Bison’   Sarah Barnsley, ‘Virginia Woolf Has Fallen Over’   Kaleem Hawa,...

Walking into Surrender, Jenkin van Zyl’s installation in which a film loops on the wall of a mock-up of a motel room, I found the space was full of other viewers Some were lying on beds – just big enough for two, sheets tucked in, pristine white The atmosphere was strange, informed by the transience and intimacy of the motel room, itself a mirror to one of the locations that appears in van Zyl’s film There was intimacy here, but uncertainty as well The uncanny world of Surrender gets under the skin, hinting at the horror that’s to come   One of the curious things about watching artist films and installations is the ability a viewer has to enter part way through, to engage with imperfect knowledge Surrender, however, doesn’t stop: there are no endings or opening credits At the centre of the film is Grace, a human-rat hybrid, who exists as one half of a pair, a fraught union that van Zyl uses as a springboard for several themes They are referred to as One-Half-of-Grace throughout the film (in each dancing duo, both partners are referred to by a shared name) – the first step Surrender takes in deconstructing ideas of individual identity Snippets of Grace’s thoughts appear on screen in lines of slanted text, akin to intertitles, propelling the narrative forward  Grace first arrives at The Marathon, the competition around which the film revolves, via limousine, in which they fall asleep, as fireworks play on a TV screen The text reveals that entering the competition offers them ‘the chance to redo, to disappear If only briefly’ The spaces in which The Marathon takes place are perfect for disappearing into: motel rooms; deserted corridors Even The Ballroom itself, where the actual dancing takes place, has an anonymous quality to it: a stage with a familiar red curtain (the

Contributor

November 2019

Kaleem Hawa

Contributor

November 2019

Kaleem Hawa has written about art, film, and literature for the New York Review of Books, The Nation, and...

after Mahmoud Darwish    Why is a boy an exclamation,  and why are his dead a period?,  why do his sinews tighten when he sees  a Palestinian body? Does his vision narrow  because of their flight,  or because their world is raining with salt?  Why is a boy with a gun different  from a boy with a jail cell?,  if the tools of rupture are our arms for  repurposing the body, and the arms of  the state are our means of repurposing the male,  are we finally useful and breathing and nervous…?  Does the white mean Night’s arrival?,  or does night signal the white’s escape?,  and when that white city boy becomes  a White City man,  does the hate in his heart subside?,  or does it become an ellipses,  a Bauhaus history of stories started  and left unfinished 
You Arrive at A White Checkpoint and Emerge Unscathed

Prize Entry

November 2019

Kaleem Hawa


READ NEXT

feature

November 2013

I Can’t Stop Thinking Through What Other People Are Thinking

David Shields

feature

November 2013

Originally, feathers evolved to retain heat; later, they were repurposed for a means of flight. No one ever accuses...

feature

February 2011

Middle East protests give lie to Western orthodoxies

Emanuelle Degli Esposti

feature

February 2011

For thousands of individuals across the Arab world, 2011 has already become the year in which the political and...

fiction

May 2016

Panty

Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay

TR. Arunava Sinha

fiction

May 2016

She was walking. Along an almost silent lane in the city.   Work – she had abandoned her work...

 

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