Nidaa Badwan withdrew from life in her embattled native Gaza, transforming her hundred-square-foot apartment into an immersive, time-based work of art. She didn't leave her room for nearly twenty months. In fourteen jewel-like tableaux — each one meticulously crafted over a period of several weeks — the artist poses in a light-filled room, painted vivid viridian and cluttered with textiles and newspapers that assume a sculptural presence. We see her chopping onions, sewing, making coffee, painting, spacing out. Shown here in the U.S. for the first time (under the name "100 Days of Solitude"), these meditations on isolation and enclosure under occupation are an intimist pendant to Molly Crabapple's gallant nude portraits of female anarchists, witches, philosophers, and sex workers (on view in Postmasters' adjoining room). Their transfixing calm recalls images of middle-class female interiority from Vermeer to Francesca Woodman, but Badwan's hermetic peace seems all the more precious and contingent for the violence it brackets out. "I started to feel that my simplest rights were snatched away from me in Gaza," the artist has written. "I decided to abandon the world to create my own."
In late 2013, the Palestinian artist