Distal Other (Mona Lisa series)
77x53 cm each. Installation dimensions variable | Filler, oak frame
Distal means situated away from the point of attachment. Science of perception uses the term distal stimuli for objects and events out in the world about you. As opposed to the proximal stimuli, which are the patterns of stimuli from these objects and events that actually reach your senses. From the proximal stimuli we form our perception of reality, even though it is very varying and limited. The stable experience we percieve is a contruction of the mind.
The paintings in the series share the same measures and a similar composition with the famous work by Leonardo da Vinci. The figure in the foreground of the paintings, occupying the space of Mona Lisa, is shaped as an empty dark space. It could refer to the Other, as hidden, or veiled. Or in a contemporary discourse, the wish or demand to withdraw from the public gaze, by means of religous clothing as the niqab.
117x175 cm each. Installation dimensions variable | Filler, oak frame
In Akkadian, an ancient semitic langauge, the word Erebu means "to go down, set" (in reference to the sun). This is believed by some to be the origin of the name for Europe. The land of the sunset as seen from the middle east.
In greek mythology Erebus was a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness, born out of Chaos. The name Erebus is also used as a region of the Greek underworld where the dead pass immediately after dying, a "place of darkness between earth and Hades".
The Three No's
125x100 cm each, installation dimensions variable | Filler, oak frame
The title of this triptych refers to a infamous sentence in the Khartoum resolution issued by the Arab League (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait and Sudan) in 1967. It reads - ”No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel. ” Although the resolution was never enforced, and is no longer relevant to the Palestinian conflict, the text’s categorical rejection remains of interest. Not least as an alternative to the common notion that conflicts can and should always be resolved through dialogue and compromise. The work can be viewed as a statement of support for the Palestinian struggle, but it can also be understood as a reflection on struggle and resistance on many different levels.
My works are made of ordinary filler. It's a 5 mm thick layer surrounded by an oak frame. The filler cracks when it dries, and I make the cracks part of my expression. There is beauty in decay, and in imperfections. It recalls the physical forces of the world. Gravity and desintegration. Expansion and attraction. I like my work to be shaped by the properties of the material and by conceptual decisions, rather than any personal style.
I want to say something about alienation. As individual subjects we perceive the world through images. Images are representations, they are different from reality in itself. Thus we experience ourselves as somehow retracted from reality, and this primordial sense of alienation shapes the human condition.
By emphasizing the flatness of an image, and in the same time evoking the presence of the materials, I want to adress this lack, or longing, inherited in our perception of reality.
My work also relates to other modes of alienation, like the subjects estrangement from her natural conditions, or from the society as a whole. Or cultural alienation in the wake of migration and refugee crises. I often work in response to inequality or injustice, to raise awareness and make a stand, but also as a way to deal with it on a personal level.
I do art to focus on the things in the picture that are missing. To embrace the incompleteness of our understanding, but simultaneously contemplate what lies underneath. And I hope that is what others take away from it too.