Region/Concept: Middle East, Space
Sub-Concepts: Engulfing, Aloneness, Anonymity, the Stranger
Description: Artist Tarek Al-Ghoussein releases photographic series of a faceless man standing amidst barren landscapes.
There still remains a particle of Being here (enough to leave the outline, contour, or silhouette of this someone). Still, this does not amount to anything substantial: he is not entitled to act or speak with meaning; he is not allowed to influence the event. He has all the agency or importance of someone condemned to watch a tidal wave: he can only stare forward. Nevertheless, he is no survivor or even witness (both are pathological types). Rather, he is the figure of the engulfing…where the immensity of space conspires to drown one into final irrelevance. No identity or alternative to this drifting-across; no greater station than to serve as random, infinitesimal shade against the backdrop of a coastline, stadium, oasis, apartment complex, or vacant city square. Diminished form. His aloneness is not tragic but totally impersonal; it is the imprint of neutrality itself. And what becomes of Man when he is no longer the central player of history, no longer the inheritor of the destiny of the world? A gift; a curse. Some will die from humiliation; others will learn to appreciate the possibility of being unburdened by supremacy (toward slightness). They will learn the pleasure of immateriality, anonymity, supplication, and the imperceptible nights of the stranger.