SYRIA is a video artwork that explores the kaleidoscope of daily life in Damascus before the current war, portraying the fractal complexities and the beauty of the city, in contrast with the images of destruction associated with Syria that we now see on the daily news.
The work signals Sabsabi's fascination with the ways by which beneath the surface of things there can exist a metaphorical structure opposed to that surface. For instance, the way a visually complex abstract image of bustling lines and jostling forms doesn't necessarily convey a buzzing randomness but instead unveils the balance of nature' elementary simplicity, or the symbolic means by which the underlying moral structure of foundational myths runs perpendicular to the chronological unfolding of events. Syria is a title that illustrates the inadequacy of words to define that which is beyond them.
Incorporating moving images from the artist's large archive of recordings of Damascus since 2004, Syria has the beautiful complexity of fractal geometry. Its degree of formal and aesthetic complexity is enhanced as a multi-channel projection that is reflected onto glass. Undoubtedly a masterwork within the artist's oeuvre, Syria is a culmination of two decades of an artistic practice tied to a deeply ethical and spiritual enquiry that is remarkable in its consistency of yearning and generosity of spirit. Speaking of this trajectory Sabsabi confesses to a highly focused determination to "work toward a progressive collapsing of space - the territorial space of nations, of the mind and of the soul."
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