A Matter Of Survival: An Installation In Three Acts - Act I

Part of a group exhibition in House for an Art Lover, Glasgow 2019.

Materials: Wood, Concrete, Metal, Bricks, Chair, Sound, Horn speaker, Screen-printed photograph on fabric.

This ongoing exploration focuses on the nature of events that occur within the “state of exception”, the way Giorgio Agamben interpreted it as a permanent state of emergency in which laws are suspended, personal freedom curtailed, by the state’s desire to maintain control and authority. My main interest is to understand the forms of civil resistance that take place within this condition. I have envisioned this quest taking place in three acts.

For Act I - my research focused on the photographic representation of major political events of the last century. A barricade becomes more than just an improvised barrier, it is a defence against violence, it separates life from death, freedom from captivity. Similarly, a fence is a line between public and private space, a border between two countries. Drawing from my country’s turbulent past of protests and civil war, where barricades were used as protection and the Evros fence as a ‘protection’ against refugees, I wanted to explore the history of these objects, their materiality and representation in everyday life in a global context. I’m interested in the concept of “the wall” as both a physical barrier and a symbolic constraint that can assume different forms depending upon the context, from a barricade to a fence. The work repurposes these materials, hollows them out or exaggerates them, in order to articulate the ideological structures that comprise the visual culture of politics, news, oppression, and resistance.