The theme of my final project is “protection ” intended to show the Western world’s cultural awareness, as in how the western world is protecting himself from the harm of the Islam contamination.
Western society doesn’t feel comfortable with these differences and seems to blame Islam for its own failures this has become a habit as we can see it in the media.
In my project I tried to represent this view of our society and its attitudes towards Islam being ironic and shrouded in fear.
I built a totem a metaphor of western people and by placing a consistent quantity of salt on a small table the salt represents western society and how we spread our capitalist influence by trying to affirm leadership all over the world. The salt is important as it is pure and white it does not contaminate, it preserves, and superstitiously it wards off evil.
Religious plays its part too, Jesus said “you are the salt of the earth” perhaps affirming in the minds of Christians the idea to be the predominately Ideology.
In my installation the quantity of salt cannot be contained on a small table, its falling onto the ground between many worlds on printed white pages, translated into many languages.
This wave of words (western society) are obsessively repeating the words “unknown ” building a unified white layer.
The black pages showing the words “unknown” translated into Arabic are interfering with the “white pages” of Western culture, as if Muslim are “contaminating” our society.
At the end of all the white pages a border of black pages in Arabic are marking the edge with a strong chromatic border, this indicate how Islam is enlarging its boarders and how they draw new boarders in the Western geography.
A small crow covered with a small burqa is entrapping himself in a birdcage to indicate the will to keep under control the “different entities” in our society and also to show that “the inner slave of the “burka” must also be kept trapped.
One dead bird crushed to the ground “trapped ” between the two black and white boarders represents the people (immigrants) as having two cultures, people living here such as the European Muslim.
The bird is a reminder of the idea of “free movement”, movement and migration that has been problematic in many countries.
The word “unknown” refers mostly to the women who wear burkas, they are considered alien like, something to be afraid of, a “flock of black birds” that suddenly have invaded our territory.
An online Telegraph titled “Banning the burka is not racist – it’s a kindness” and “One day, the burkas, like a flock of crows, will come home to roost “expresses this view.
I wanted to be provocative and play around with this vision we have of the burqa, in my installation a circle of salt recalling the shape of the birdcage is placed on the ground this contains a picture of a woman wearing a burqa.
The circle shape of salt on the table, the one placed around the picture, the birdcage and a wire trap around one of the birds is the link which visually connects all the elements together. This is a representation of the integration where the imagine of the woman is immerse in the salt that want to absorb her into western society, but sometimes blurring, fading, and pixelating her real image rejecting the burqa and imposing a ban, and almost in another sense like are the ones wanting to take away her identity?
My representation in chromatic black and white is simply a representation of good and evil and in how I have metaphorically developed the narrative around the main concept.
My installation also can be easily misinterpreted, maybe some people may take offensive with my use of Arabic calligraphy, or the picture of the woman with the burka, but this must be something I must deal with as an artist.
Religion may be a constant theme in my art works as the differences between people are themes that I find really challenging and appealing the result is provocative, it’s about asking people to question themselves.
My final installation doesn’t have a clear reading, but that was my firm intention, to leave the piece open to discussion.