This event has passed.
  • Friday from 06:00 pm until 09:00 pm, Feb 07 2014
  • Every Monday to Friday from 11:00 am until 06:00 pm, Feb 08 2014 to Feb 20 2014
  • Mark Hashem Galery, Capital Garden, Salloum Street, Mina El Hosn, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Exhibitions, Arts & Culture
  • www.fatimamortada.com

LABYRINTH BY ARTIST FATIMA MORTADA

Artist’s Statement

I’m a traveller, a nomad and a stranger in a world of change, flux and mobility. I am also a storyteller, a spinster and a knitter.

Sometimes I forget that I am an artist, thinking that I am a political activist of some kind. After all, isn’t art supposed to change the world?

I do not like categorizing and boundaries. I do not believe in “The ONE”, for complexity, richness and reality are held upon binary and multiplicity systems. These systems acknowledge the right of being different and allow the nomadic experiments movement through variations of concepts and mediums.

I do not entertain people. Neither I provide them with beautiful ornaments to decorate their places with.

I simply say what I have to say, and to me, reality is much more sexier than pornography.

I aim to comprehend the effect of conflict in the Middle East on presenting images of the human body in art works. Hence, the work is directly concerned in examining the body image and its transformation through the conflict background.

There is an intense presence of conflict in the Middle East, and a drastic absence of dealing with the body in art works. It is noted that addressing the body in its sexual presence in life’s everydayness is still a taboo in the Arab world; although the everyday struggle with this particular theme is profoundly relevant to the debates arising around the questions of identity and sexuality in the region.

I believe that every work of art that involves a human figure is a work that tells a story. Hence, by using different visual approaches of presenting the body in my works, I transform into a storyteller. These approaches are most convenient to the nomadic and open quality of my art. I am not fixed to one medium of expression such as painting. I prefer drawing to painting and sometimes drawing does not feel enough to depict the sensation or the concept I try to capture. Lately, I am interested in threads, sewing, knitting, weaving, and finding interesting theoretical underpinning of my practice in the mythology of weaving and knitting and their relation to women and gender roles.

The human body is an expressive space, which contributes to the significance of personal actions. The body is also the origin of expressive movement, and is a medium for perception of the world. Bodily experience gives perception a meaning beyond that established simply by thought. The idea of the body cannot be separated from the experience of the body. Hence, if our body is the medium that is responsible for establishing and developing our consciousness, then it is possible to claim that our own perception of our body constitutes the concept of our identity. This idea, accordingly, allows the existence of the strong linkage between the body image formation and the identity formation. It may also allow the presentation of the identity in its physical manifestations: images of the body, which can be of some benefit in the field of visual arts. And, if there is no fixed identity, then there is no fixed body, even in its concrete physical state, where the movement of the change and transformation would also suggest a rich theme for visual art projects.



About the Labyrinth

Labyrinth aims to trouble the relation between the body and the pre-supposed perceptions about the body. Labyrinth troubles the pseudo distinction between the two genders. Labyrinth points to confuse the viewer and makes him/her re- conceptualise his/her assumptions about the body.
What is the Body? It is not a question, but, regarding these works, it is the snake in the grass that disorders the identity of gender. Hence, the question is: Is the gendering of the body a prior given, or is it subjected to cultural conditions?
Correspondingly, the works are an invitation to enter the Labyrinth of this question.

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