Larissa Sansour

Larissa Sansour explores the complexities of life in Palestine by drawing on pop culture and film in a cunning and often-humorous subversion of Western narratives. Her work includes references to TV comedies, spaghetti Westerns, sci-fi and horror films—genres typically associated with light entertainment. She combines political commentary with a playful exploration of alternative universes in multidisciplinary projects spanning photography, video and installation. Sansour searches for innovative ways to revive contemporary Palestine, offering an otherworldly reflection on the tragic absurdity of day-to-day life there.

In Nation Estate, the future Palestinian state is located in a hi-tech skyscraper large enough to house the entire Palestinian population. Each floor is named after a Palestinian city and is linked by an elevator. Conceived in the wake of the Palestinian request for nationhood at the United Nations in 2011, the work comments on the diminishing territory of the Palestinian state and how impossible it is to interconnect its cities. The piece was nominated for the 2011 Lacoste-sponsored Elysée Prize of Switzerland’s Musée de l’Elysée. However the nomination was later revoked at Lacoste’s request to disassociate itself from the political implications of the artist’s concept, a move that sparked a worldwide outcry.

Born in Jerusalem, Sansour studied fine arts in Copenhagen, London and New York and is currently based in London. Her widely exhibited work is featured in a number of recent art publications.