Every choice must have a reason, and "Hanging Gardens" is a title that originated from the very land we were born in—the four of us. It is a tale woven from the threads of imagination and the power of love within the heart of King Nebuchadnezzar II, the Babylonian ruler who reigned between 562 and 605 BCE. It is an exceptional story of love, but it is also a story of architectural wonders. The Hanging Gardens defy all possibilities and reasonable images of that time. Essentially, they transcend reality into the realm of imagination. Our choice is an alignment with the idea that art, in all its forms, expressions, and styles, is a breach of the ordinary, the law, and the silence. It is akin to the Hanging Gardens, which rose with the power of imagination, love, and even the power of art, despite being anchored to the rigidity of reality.
This exhibition is a gathering of four artists, three of whom reside in Belgium, a visual dialogue of different generations. Each artist has their stylistic space to express their visions, and each employs their own method in using materials to create their works. However, their narratives closely intertwine, forming four branches stemming from a single river.
Hamdan Saray turns to the past, summoning events and presenting them in his oil paintings, representing images from his personal memory, snapshots from the archives of childhood and youth. He portrays war and dictatorship, showcasing the city between harshness and fear, presenting it through his own emotions, leaving the recipient the task of interpretation. Hamdan's works focus on the mechanism by which the deceptive mind operates, as directed images manipulate the viewer's eye, and this deception can only be unveiled through personal perception, backed by a level of awareness of the world and the clarity of vision before media images.
Tarek Shabout employs hardness in materials, using breakable objects to create dolls - reflections of ourselves - shapes that mimic our seemingly fragmented world. Through his artistic work, he seeks to present the story of each of these dolls, revealing the cruelty of their forms, a result of the distortion that has befallen us as human beings.
Salam Atta Sabri concentrates on works where he uses the simplest materials to express the idea of destruction: the organized destruction of beauty, like the palm tree, for example, and the destruction of artistic heritage. He attempts to present the news of his battle against loss, forgetfulness, the authority of distortion, and the erasure of collective memory.
As for Sura Al-Ibrahimi, she employs other malleable materials, which are exhibited as if they have been liberated. The shapes appear like a collective outcry, where each gap becomes an open mouth, variations of shouting against violence or for freedom, shouting against traditions that are no longer relevant to the times, against masculinity. These dark gaps are repeated in most of the works, concealing something within the body, sometimes exposed, other times closed upon its wounds and fractures, with no solution but to scream.
Artists: Salam Ata Sabri, Tarek Shabout, Hamdan Saray, Sura Moyaed