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Chic Point

Sharif Waked

Chic Point ponders, imagines, and interrogates "fashion for Israeli checkpoints." Set to the backdrop of a heavy rhythmic beat, men on catwalks model one design after another in an exploration of form and content. Zippers weaved nets, hoods, and buttons serve the unifying theme of exposed flesh. Body parts - lower backs, chests, abdomens - peek through holes, gaps, and splits woven into readymade silk and cotton t-shirts, robes, and shirts. As the sights and sounds of the fast paced catwalk dim to a close, the viewer is transported to the West Bank and Gaza. One man after another lifts shirts, robes, and jackets. Some kneel shirtless, others naked, with guns poised at their exposed flesh. The body of the Palestinian, today commonly understood by the Israeli state as a dangerous weapon, is brought to the viewer’s eye in the flesh. Chic Point bares the loaded politics of the gaze as it documents the thousands of moments in which Palestinians are daily forced to nude themselves in the face of interrogation and humiliation, as they attempt to move through the intricate and constantly expanding network of Israeli checkpoints.