17:38 Video, Ceramic, Salt

In 2017, Al-Arashi’s father was banned from entering the United States as a result of Executive Order 13769. As the migration crisis escalated, his ability to move freely dwindled simply for holding a Yemeni passport. Unable to travel to both the US and Europe, Al-Arashi began requesting her father mail her ceramic vessels, creating a physical exchange between two places and two people only possible by post.

13769 is an actively growing sculpture of a conversation between Al-Arashi and her father over distance and time. Upon receiving the handmade clay vessels, Al-Arashi activates and cleanses the porous objects with salt water, and with time, the objects transform. Since childhood, salt has played an important role in their family life, praised for its ability to cleanse negative energy. The action of her father sending the body-like objects becomes a protest of movement, and Al-Arashi’s receiving, an act of care.

The pieces are accompanied by a film work which explores the movement of a body in a constant state of diaspora. The speculatively poetic film delicately traces notions which lead to a desired projection of oneself into an image.

Helmhaus Zürich, vertrauen, 2022

Photographs: Zoe Tempest, Helmhaus Zürich