Publisher: White Press
Size: 17 x 24 cm (approx.)
Clothbound, handmade leporello binding (accordian fold; appx. 11 meters long). Photo-illustrated belly-band, signed numbered edition of 150 copies.
„Searching for the border between Europe and the Orient.
Being half Lebanese myself, my previous project series „Arabian Prospects“ has been focusing on cultural interfaces in the distant Arabian World looked at from a western perspective. For the purpose of my latest project, I have been searching for the „in between” – whatever lies geographically as well as culturally between my world here in the midst of Europe and my long term focus of interest in the Middle and Near East.
From August to December 2008 I was „en route” between Vienna and Beirut. During my travel, I encountered people in versatile worlds, inside or in front of architectural places, both real and artificial, public and private. In my photographs, people emerge either as just passers-by or while waiting, as subjects and objects of the viewer’s eye, moving about in their urban or rural environment.
These are distanced views in which locals and tourists are on their paths, randomly congregating and forming elusive compositions. These pictures represent neither precise documents nor do they create artistic worlds. They rather mean to be constructions of multicolored, fragmented impressions, like looking through a kaleidoscope. I often show architectural monuments, including the social life taking place within, in various superimposed layers and conditions. Through reflections and fragmentations within the images, the viewer’s eye is being multiplied, inverted and divided in order to put on trial and call in question the perception of cultural differences and their importance for the “present” and the “past” of our society.
My pictures reveal an ambivalent point of view beyond the current clichés. They exceed the very essence and value of architectural monuments and existing borderlines and are looking for new perspectives within. In my photographs, the Orient and the Occident are being overlaid and perpetrated, in view of a regionally different but more and more growing and integrating globalism.
Photography as such turns out to serve as a visual hinge and an interface between these multi-faceted worlds where the space between East and West is either expanded or reduced.
Where is the end of the West and where does Orient begin?“