Installation view, ‘New Frankfurt Internationals - Solid Signs’, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany, 2014.
The Untitled Images
2014, digital C-print, 21x30 cm
How might existence and non-existence of an artwork affect the material existence of the reality presented on a photograph? Can the act of erasure be, in fact, a protective one; and the absence of the bodies highlighting their presence?
Photographs used in The Untitled Images were taken in different parts of Syria, joined by a mutual horror of loss; they are a brutal visual evidence of equally brutal reality. There are few levels of violence present in those pictures – firstly, that of the regime making this horror happen, secondly, that of the media, cynically deciding, whose pain should be displayed on a pedestal of our TV screens, and lastly, artist’s own layer of violence that he applied to those photographs, when he, in an almost surgical act, erased the skin and therefore people who once were individuals.
The silhouettes are peeled off like we peel dead skin off our bodies – getting rid of the unwanted, unpleasant, inconvenient to see. Edited in this particular manner, they became acceptable for the media, showing only the desired amount of pain – or lack of thereof.