I guess we shouldn't have been surprised that, given the artists' provenance, this work would be imbued with a political message. For instance, there was the concrete volley ball, described in an article from a UAE newspaper linked to on the Barjeel Facebook page as
a sculpture of a sports ball made from reconstituted concrete from the Apartheid Wall in Palestine. It offers a poetic response to conversations held with Palestinian children playing by a section of the wall near Ramallah.As well, we saw
the images from Larissa Sansour’s series Nation Estate, which offers a fantastical and futuristic response to the Palestinian situation. She imagines a skyscraper within which each floor represents a different city or area in the occupied land.The artist was born in Jerusalem, but in a film that's part of the display she cannot leave the elevator on the Jerusalem floor, which, when the doors open, shows the gold-domed mosque; in another image, one of the series' photographs displayed on the wall, the mosque and its surroundings are seen through shattered glass. The implicit message: she, a Palestinian, is barred from a broken Jerusalem because of those awful rhymes with you-know-whos.
We also saw a small bronze sculpture encased in glass. "Oh, look," said my son. "That's the thing on the BDS logo."
And, indeed, it was.
Update: The CBC called the artwork "edgy." Good word, since much of it is double-edged.
Update: Shout out to the woman I saw in the permanent gallery wearing an "I Heart Jesus" T-shirt.