Having arrived in a new city – Beirut – I was asking myself: how do I fit in within an endless spiral of new feelings, new information and new people?
To avoid drowning in the city without finding time to reflect, I created a visual diary to help me revisit memories and sensations of past experiences, relive places, feelings, even the weather.
Each painting, I believe, captures a new experience and reflecting on each new experience is essential to shape oneself and one’s artwork.
It was in Beirut that I first started exploring the relationship between people and the city.
Pretty much of a balancing decision after the explosion; a concept that focused on war and distraction memories.
My first work on this topic_civilian spectrums_ looked at the mass of metal cranes disrupting the city’s landscape with promises of gentrification and new neighbourhoods built on top of the essential identity of the city - a reaction to an urban crime. In this work, the crane became a symbol of such procedure.
I moved to Istanbul in 2015 and the concept evolved. The new city once again left its mark on me: new neighborhoods and identities, a new sky and light, different human interactions intertwining in new identities.
I looked at the city beyond gentrification. I started perceiving urban life as an organism of its own differing widely from the rhythms of nature, the wild beast of the Anthropocene.
In Civilian Spectrums each corner of the city has a different rhythm, and in every constructed tempo we can see a fresh existence of the identity. It grows within the society, building the contemporary human impression inside of us.
Identity is not just a specialty of the visual scene or a part of a beautiful place. It is the place itself: the beating life inside a river of human impressions and the tense existence for its civilian products.
From Damascus to Beirut, and recently Istanbul, different places hold the fragrance of the Mediterranean, reflecting the image of the human beings who have lived among it for centuries. A civilization grows with love for life and the water that records the reflections of every little change with the sound of sunlight.