In collaboration with Simon Mhanna
Like a stab in the chest a breakup is the hardest thing you could ever go through, and no matter how much time passes, it never really goes away.
Every time a relationship ends, it leaves us behind with traces of despair and in a gloomy mood. The frustrations, regrets and fears grow and our personality changes … Black Memories (Mémoires Noires/Mes Noires) are formed.
MéNoires revisits of all these memories; the project sheds the light on the obscure ruthless side of breakup experiences.
The artist found bits and pieces of thoughts he left behind after every passing relationship. In moments of depression he wrote some fragments that he kept all of these years in his diaries. The discovered ideas and thoughts, though obsolete, poked the suppressed emotions, and the flashbacks erupted and transported him to a blurry state of mind where the words transform into forms expressing a fuzzy dark memory …
Each figure represents one of these relationships, they take different volumes according to the length of the relationship, different expressions according to the intensity and the character of each … the one night stands, the NSA, the long-term, the unrevealed, the obsessions, crushes, fascinations, adventures, the sexual hookups, the on&off, the “it is complicated” …
The mapped words, handwritten in Arabic, abstracted through shape, volume and texture, transform the text into an emotional artifact, fragile and spontaneous, and weaved into the present through the threads we drag into and out of the relationships.
The threads are the chains, roots, extractions, directions … the baggage that draws us backward and the urge that connects us to the future. The thicker thread represents the parents as a couple and their relationship that shapes our deepest thrives and aspirations. Their shadows immerse in us and resuscitate …
The elusive artifacts meant to be seen through the photographer’s dramatic storytelling are photographed as exploration of the darkness. The photographer brings the memories to life through his lights that explode volumes and shades, highlight textures and traces to tell the artist’s story. The subtle moments become eternal.
The pieces dissolve when the light is out. What remains is a captured moment that cannot be reproduced precisely, like a hasty memory that leaves you with an impression of an internal void filled with a deep breath of life.
The photographic experience…
The last words are all that remain. They say we keep the good memories of a relationship but that’s what our broken heart keeps. Our minds store words… the very last ones.
Be it a peaceful goodbye or an angry fight, it’s all about the ending.
Photography shares the same skill as the mind: Recording.
Both record accurately but it is their failure that we are witnessing in this series.
The inability of our 5 senses to record one another is a great explanation of this factor.
The camera (the eye) was unable to hear the last words. It could only see them.
The ability of the heard to stay unseen is the essence of this project. It is the core of its existence. It was said, you heard it, you recorded it, and you even remember details of when and where it happened but try to see it try to recreate it try to photograph it.
A dead word that grows inside of you and breeds from your pain is turned into a photograph. Frozen in a moment back in time, it will be resurrected and frozen again, in a new form, giving it a new meaning – a new dimension.
Dead letters turn beautiful when photographed. They can be observed in silence. Looking at letters is way more complex than hearing them. One’s ears can’t see words but one’s eyes can hear them. This is what MéNoires brought to this muted medium: The sound of silence.
The last words are loud, painful and destructive. They are so loud that one can hear them with his eyes. They can’t be erased; we learn how to live with them. They can emerge anytime back to the surface… metamorphosed but always black.
This project was produced in collaboration with Simon Mhanna