The direct translation of Kul is ‘all’ or ‘everything’. However, the connotation of the word Kul in the Arabic language is so much more complex in its all-encompassing meaning and implication of infinity. This meaning is compounded by the artist’s technique of calligraphically depicting the word Kul repeatedly, so that it resembles an endless ripple effect.
The impression of never-ending repetition is not merely a reflection of God’s abundance on Earth, but an indication to look both further, and deeper, to penetrate the mere appearance and surface of things, to discover the hidden messages that all aesthetic creation hold.
Once, we thought the atom was the smallest particle, before we discovered that it was made of numerous smaller ones, as we once thought that the extent of our universe was the Milky Way Galaxy, before we discovered that there were hundreds of billions more galaxies out there. As God’s creation is infinite, and while we can say or write the word ‘infinite’ easily, it is impossible to imagine as it extends far beyond the human brain’s capacity for comprehension. Therefore, if one thinks of Kul too deeply or for too long, they might realize that it doesn’t exist; there is no ‘all’ or ‘everything’.
Wish You Were Here is a collection of 100 used postcards from across Europe, which are doctored using hand embroidery. Each subtle intervention presents a social commentary reflecting the current landscape across the region.
Postcards serve to highlight the beauty of a city or landscape yet never seem to present the whole reality. The composition of the postcard images are so well framed and immaculate that such embroidered interventions serve to broaden the lens towards a more realistic insight of the current socio-political context. Beautiful shots of the Mediterranean coast are carefully altered to include rubber dinghies carrying refugees towards shore or gorgeous piazzas play host to a multitude of tented settlements or protests.
The embroidered additions take such stagnant images and pull them into a current discourse of border politics amidst an ever escalating refugee crisis. The title, Wish You Were Here, has a direct relational association to postcards and highlights the link that postcards have to 'home' or a sense of 'longing for home'. The irony of the pun intended, that someone would 'wish they were there' when considering the stark reality of what is being represented. Each embroidered postcard is unique and presents its own narrative. They are presented as an installation, onto rotating postcard stands, for the audience to navigate around and intimately view and reflect on the reality that each postcard presents.
Abdulaziz Al Rashedi
Ayman Yossri Daydban
Dania Al Saleh
Nasser Al Salem