Zebradonk was auctioned at the JAMM Foundation, Kuwait, 12 November 2013

The Auction sale was held on Tuesday 12 November 2013 at the Contemporary Art Platform in Kuwait. Henry Highley, Head of ‘Under the Influence’ and Contemporary Art at Phillips London conducted the auction… It was sponsored by TAG Huer and held by Sheikha Lula Al-Sabah, Founder of JAMM.

For more information, see The Kuwait Contemporary Art Auction website.

Zebradonk is about an intervention that the zoo keeper at Palestine Zoo made in response to the embargo of the Gaza strip. Palestine Zoo had no zebras so the keeper painted two white donkeys with black stripes so that the children could have a better experience at the zoo. This playful intervention shows how through the act of painting the donkeys, an innovative experience was achieved in the face of dire circumstances. These small interventions can change everything and create new meaning. A seminal moment or act becomes a material thing.

The zebradonk has also become synonymous with the Palestinian state because of Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment when referring to the Declaration of Principles, he said ‘when you walk into the zoo and see an animal that looks like a horse and has black and white stripes, you do not need a sign to tell you this is a zebra. It is a zebra. When you read this agreement, the Declaration of Principles, even if the words ‘Palestinian State’ are not mentioned there, you do not need a sign. This is a Palestinian State.’

The double take of the act of painting within painting is a self referential approach similar to that made by the zoo keeper. However things are never as they seem. Everything changes everything.

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