Interview at the Venice Biennale
1) As a mixed media artist what are your main concerns that you want to capture in your practice?
I do not believe that the purpose of art is only to deal with an issue or to apply a certain wisdom. I want to be saved through art with the least loss. If life is my predicament then art is my salvation. I go to a marginal area, and treat it as a center to make things, to play and to practice art in the street, by looking deeply into people’s faces and by my daily greetings and during sleep. I look for questions that lead me not to answers but to other questions. My art work starts with a question concerning life, its cycles and its effect on my and their existence.
2) Why did you choose to remove the dialogue in About God? And what is the premise behind this work?
I wanted to record the first moment on hearing a shocking question as it is a part of the answer provided by visual language. Then I recorded the visual reactions of the answer during dialogue. I focused on each case, recording the tiny and ambiguous details and reading them again to detect emotions of worry, doubt, fear and indifference. The visual reaction is more truthful. I counted on that reaction more than I counted on the spoken language itself. Language sometimes may consist of a simple collection of diction.
The motive behind this research and dialogue that took 90 days with 28 persons such as artists, writers, thinkers, actors, students and laborers was the search for belief in Allah. Would their chances and lives change when their faith has greatly changed? I emerged with many possibilities and distractions. This research project led me to many questions, but not to a definite answer.
3) How can the private and public iniatives better support artists inside Saudi Arabia?
The best support is reached when the Saudi artist starts to support himself searching for all knowledge resources, developing his tools and making his own unique style. The opportunities and initiatives provided by organizations and galleries at this time are numerous and they provide great support for the contemporary Saudi artistic scene.
4) Please describe the current Saudi Arabian contemporary art scene in your own words?
In a very short time, Saudi contemporary art was able to reach high achievements and to shape its characteristics. The reason may be that this art was very preoccupied with its own cultural topics which in turn resulted in this art being displayed in leading museums all over the world. Currently and in the near future, this art shall be subject to the filtering stage and I sincerely wish that the most skillful artist will be the one who endures.