An exhibition of works by Ayman Yossri Daydban at Selma Feriani Gallery, running from 21 January-26 February explores the many facets and notions of Identity.
January 21, 2012 - Alia Al-Senussi
Selma Feriani Gallery, London, and Athr Gallery, Jeddah, are pleased to present Ayman Yossri Daydban’s first London solo exhibition entitled, “Identity”. This exhibition offers a compelling insight into the practice of this multi-media artist. Originally Palestinian, Ayman possesses Jordanian nationality and Saudi Arabian residence. Daydban’s work transcends discussions of identity, speaking to the viewer on a more visceral level of the shared human experience of misunderstandings and miscomprehension.
Ayman first became internationally recognized through his participation in the Edge of Arabia exhibition at the Brunei Gallery in the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, in 2008. His contribution to the show included a tent in which visitors were invited to write their own comments about identity. It is precisely this topic, identity, which is explored in this exhibition.
The Subtitles Series are film stills that capture particular scenes from Western movies frozen together with their supposedly matching Arabic subtitles. The power of these works lies in the dual intended experience: one for an Arabic-reading audience and one for a non-Arabic-reading audience. These translations act as a vehicle for new understanding beyond straightforward translation. As Daydban states, “The language, when deducted from its cruel context and re-exported with the image of the new still captured photo, changes its function from confirming the meaning to producing it, by transforming itself to a unique source of new mental images with no past or function.”
The Flag series presents the viewer with found objects and metals
reconfigured to delineate the Palestinian flag. Flag 4, for example, is
composed of braille paper with imprinted characters that act as a
background to an onion grater that is moulded into the flag. Like the
Subtitles series, Flag evokes differing feelings dependent on the identity
of the viewer. The viewer must interpret the work using his own
vocabulary of life experiences whether he be Arab, Palestinian or
The artist implores his viewer to interpret and translate, no matter their
linguistic understanding. If the viewer happens to comprehend the
original text, the artist pushes him to search through preconceived notions
and re-interpret words as well as everyday objects and experiences,
moving past primary identifications to less obvious meanings.