Al-Ashirah, THE CLOCKS ARE STRIKING THIRTEEN, exhibition curated by Maya Elkhalil, Athr gallery, Jeddah 2018.
Heads of the tribe
In our species’s not so distant future, we have lost control of our stories.
Our world is now governed by tribal stories in their political, extremist, nationalistic, and sectarian genres. In this future, stories are diagnosed as a disease of the mind. An infection we must be quarantined away from.
In a bid to save itself from its own stories, our species sends forth its seeds into the stars in a mission to populate a new planet far away from the narratives of our own.
Carried on board a mother ship, whose mission is to sow a distant soil with a new, story-less, human tribe. Each seed is a material that acts as a new technological skin, incasing the human life that grows within it.
A skin that is the final layer of our technological evolution designed to imprison the human instinct to tell stories. There is no thirst inside this skin, no hunger, no illness or pain.
The individual within is rendered self sufficient, self reliant and in no need of the collective tribe. The skin, through its obscuring helmet, prevents all human emotions and forms of expression from being transmitted out.
Any attempt to tell a story is caught by algorithms that censor, filter out, and mute through this wearable firewall. But within this new tribe, the need to share the stories they each carried in isolation only grows stronger .
Until the first helmet is removed and a story is told. Then the second helmet is removed and a story is first heard.
And when all the helmets are removed, the stories spread through the tribe until there is no one left to tell them, or for stories to be heard.
Except for one, Ãl, The one who placed back his helmet and returned to our planet, bringing with him the stories of his tribe.
The Book of Ãl, 2018
Ink illustrations on stitched and
stained hemp fabric + polymer
550 x 140 cm
The ‘heads of the tribe’ series, 2018
Polymer clay sculpture, fabric or
paperwith thread stitchings
Mixed media installation
(200 polymer clay sculptures +
video projection & musical
Al-Ashirah, 2018 Mixed media
installation (200 polymer clay
sculptures + video projection &
Video production collaboration with
Artur Weber. Vocals Ali Alatts.
Musical collaboration wiht Ali
Alattas and Hani Kadour