This is not about nostalgia of what was once called the Silk Road, that glorious time of openess and collaboration connecting East to West where not only silk and goods were traded but cultures too.
This is more about words and how they change meaning over time . This is about memories and history and how itcan be distorted if not completely erased.
It is also about the future , about blockchain, a network that will pull the world together regardless of color, race, or frontiers. A technologythat is taking the world by storm includingthe art world.
In 2013 The term silk road had been hijacked andhad beenused to refer to an onlinedrug marketplace run by criminals and drug lords, which was shut down by authorities.
This is my attempt to rescue the term “Silk Road” from it’shijackers. How? By recapturing the beautiful spirit of openness and collaboration connectingeast to west .
A modernversion of that glorious time of openness and connectivity is represented here with an art collector cruising the desert on a camel while giving instructions through Siri to buy him a Rothko from Dubai Art Fair. If you think this is far from happening think again! Recently Apple has hiredJohn Giannandre Google’s chief of search artificial intelligence to improve Siri.
Late night at Sursock 150x120cm Mixed media over Digital Print on Hahnemuhle photo rag bright white 310 gsm mounted on Dibon
A few more final touches for “Late night at Sursock” and it’s done! A collaborative mixed media work involving embroidery/weaving by people from different parts in Lebanon inspired by the tensions in the art world. Gathering back all the pieces in one work symbolizes my belief that it is throught art and institutions like Sursock that Lebanese will be pulled together! Special thanks to all the people who collaborated and made this project possible: Sana from Zouk, Lillie and her family from Baakline, Arpi and Anahid from Badguèr in Bourj Hamoud, Zeina and her team at Khan el Franj Saida, Safa and Anouane from Sour , Melissa from Jounieh Zorica from Batroun( for helping me find Melissa!), Eric Mona and Shahinaz of Tara W Kheit in tripoli,Hala and her team at Barjis, Ziad and his team at Inaash , Rabih from Mlikh Jezzine, Daria from Adonis , Fida from Aley, Dalal from Bekaa, Suheir at Decoratex, Bilal and Anny at Lollipop for the wonderful Dibond, Ibrahim at Palladium for his professional technical guidance and providing me with paper samples to do glue tests, and Melki for the 100% natural canvas and silk threads! For those who thought I was using a synthetic canvas the proof is in the video below! The fabric passed the 100% natural test as when burned, it crumbled between my fingers like powder and the burned edges were soft.
Roula Sorour , The Gatekeepers, Dyassec mounted print, 283x76cm
In a period of enviromental crisis. one might, at first sight, think this work is about the environment, pollution and our oceans , the disruption of the natural cycle in nature …
However I only drew my inspiration from the power of nature in order to approach a more insidious form of power , that of the gatekeepers and their tremendous control of the world we live in.
From Cerber to the modern age ones, gatekeepers have always existed, and are everywhere censoring scientists journalists and even artists for saying an inconveniant truth.
They come in different shapes forms and colors,can be visible or transparent , and keep evolving! They belong to different worlds from the digital algorithmical editing of the web ( Eli Pariser’s ted talk) to the cultural and everything in between .
Like sharks they decide who/what is to be made visible or to disappear…