The story of the Gaza House of Culture is a story of constant assembly, an attempt to create something unified out of disparate pieces. The construction of the building, which started in the 1930s, was finished in the 1960s. Its two halves are clearly separated; moving between them, you feel like you’re entering a different world.
We know that a non-conformist art show took place here in 1974; that some of the artists brought things that might come in handy in prison to the opening; that a parrot in a cage disappeared without a trace. Now the Gaza House of Culture’s building is rented out to stores, dance and martial arts schools, cafes, etc.
The 1930s mosaic pattern that we will install in the chipped areas of the walls of the new part of the building is made out of promotional flyers found around the Gaza House. Thus we assemble a new whole from disparate fragments of history, uniting times and economic systems, and instead of the word chazir (Hebrew for “pig”) that featured in the 1974 exhibition, we use the verb of the same root lachzor (“to return,” used in the context of returning to the faith).
Marina Zhukova is a St. Petersburg–based media artist born in 1996. She studied photojournalism at Moscow State University. From 2017–2019, she studied at DocDocDoc School. Her work has been shown at group shows in St. Petersburg, where, at Smolshot international student film festival, her video MA.RI.NA-MA.RI.NA won first prize for a work of video art. She is currently enrolled at the St. Petersburg New Cinema School and the Chto Delat School of Engaged Art.