Toronto ON Milton ON Guelph ON
My work is geographically connected to multiple locations: Canada, Lebanon, and Palestine. The decision to place myself between these sites is made based on emotional, pragmatic, and political ties to these locations. My work is formed as an act of resistance instead of action, a kind of resistance that avoids being satisfied with a fixed narrative or history.
A boy hangs off the Rouche, an iconic rock formation on Beirut’s coast, yelling,“Oh my God!” He is preparing to jump 50 feet into the polluted waters of theMediterranean Sea. There are two other boys; one has a camera (the same camera thatallows us to re-watch the event), and the other, exasperated, blurts out, “This guy isstupid!” As we watch the video we are witnessing a transformation. The transformationcould be minor, one in which he changes from a boy to a man. Or we could be witnessinga traumatic transformation, one that can mean death, or the loss of a limb orconsciousness. I constantly think about the moment one realizes their identity hastransformed, like the moment one realizes that they are no longer a virgin, that someonehas passed, that they are unhappy. Those moments of realization are never at the exactmoment of the event, but always come after. There are no immediately noticeableconsequences to most of these transformations; your life still moves forward. You still eat,drink and sleep. When you realize the transformation it is only because you have amemory; your memory makes you realize that something has changed. And the timebetween the moments before and after the transformation is critical and curious. If thething that makes you transform is destructive, your transformation is destructive; if whatmakes you transform is productive, your transformation is productive. In either case acomplete disfiguration takes place, a force that shakes up your identity to form a newone.