Case Egderton Studios is proud to present GAZA CACTUS by Brooklyn-based artist Emna Zghal with poetry by Palestinian writer Nasser Rabah at the corner of Case and Edgerton in Saint Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood.

The board at 580 Case is an exterior art project accessible 24-hours a day that debuts work made for the site printed at 8x8’ on vinyl.

Zghal started her correspondence with Palestinian writer Nasser Rabah two years ago while translating his poetry. During their correspondence, Rabah asked about Zghal’s work. She spoke about her interest in organic patterns and asked if he had a favorite plant. His photograph of a cactus plant forms the monumental basis of the organic pattern that flows throughout Zghal’s image, over which she has inscribed in both Arabic and English, Rabah’s poem ‘In the Endless War’, filling a silhouette of the Gaza strip, crossing boundaries of image, text, emblem and textile.

Zghal, along with co-translators Ammiel Alcalay and Khaled Al Hilli, have published translations of Rabah’s work at the Michigan Quarterly Review and Literary Hub. They recently signed a contract for an imminent publication at the New Yorker Magazine and as members of the Brooklyn Translation Collective have translated over 20 of Rabah’s works to date. ‘We were able to connect with him a few days ago after almost 2 months. His home has been bombed, library and bedroom gone, and he is beyond devastated and is now living with his married daughter who just had a baby girl in January.’ - March 2024

About the Artist:

Emna Zghal is a Brooklyn-based visual artist. She was trained in both Tunisia and the United States and has shown her work in both countries and beyond. Her images of vast imagined spaces echo the patterns of nature and their infinite variety. And while the colors of her paintings, drawings and prints are surreal, they impart the vibrancy of life. Reviews of her exhibits appeared in the pages of The New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, Artforum among other publications. Noted public collections include the Newark Museum, Flint Institute of Art, Yale University Library, The New York Public Library, The Africa Center, NY, and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY. She has received fellowships, prizes, grants, and residencies from The Creative Capital, The MacDowell Colony, Women’s Studio Workshop, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris) and others.

Nasser Rabah was born in Gaza in 1963, and earned his BA in Agricultural Science in 1985 before going on to work as director of the Communication Department in the Agriculture Ministry. He is a member of the Palestinian Writers and Authors Union, and has published five collections of poetry — Running After Dead Gazelles (2003), One of Nobody (2010), Passersby with Invisible Clothes (2013), Water Thirsty for Water (2016), and Eulogy for the Robin (2020) — and a novel, Since Approximately an Hour (2018). Some of his poems have been translated into English, French, and Hebrew, and have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetry Online, Two Lines, and Michigan Quarterly Review among others.

Image: Gaza Cactus, 6ft x 6ft, collage, ink, paint pens on paper, 2024

Find out what's up every week.

No spam. Just local art news and events straight to your inbox.