Ahmed Kamel: Paradise - Spiral



Video-Installation (2 channels-loop) / Drawing-Installation, 2010

A spiral usually emerges from a small point; dramatically moving and growing like a fire or a snow-ball. It might get intertwined and spread like cancer, or it might appear agile and systematic. In any case it is a complex composite, and the conflict between its lines is not easy to solve, whether it is an inner or an external, multi-layered conflict. This fluent dynamic of the conflict constantly seeks its own escalation, leading to its core or to an undefined position within its endless possibilities.


The Book

Drawings, pen on paper, (video loop), 2014

The book declares, describes, explains, instructs and sometimes asks questions. Some books are everlasting and others vanish by time. Some books have been distorted or misinterpreted or diverted from their original meaning. Most of the time, the book works as a symbol of orientation and a convincing tool either totally or partly. The book’s content mostly influences our perceptions and affects our thoughts about life and what comes after. The book includes an idea that may turn into a belief and then into a faith until it becomes the truth. The book moves in the air to fall down in the right or the left hand or to keep hanging in the sky having the names and going through place and time.


Repetitive Units

Drawings, Pen on paper, A4, 2014

“I longed to remember his voice after his death but I could not, are there any records?”.

Unidentical “repetitive units” are a number of expressive drawings with contemplative manner. While drawing nothing separates between the will and the result except for the pen and the white surface, all the stages of artwork production are reduced. For me, it’s the closest medium to express feelings and thoughts.

By the birth, the soul connects with the body and gets out only with death after a certain time of life and pattern is repeated. At the time of death, there are people who sparkle a little water on the grave to lessen the heat of the soul and others light candles to give it warmth.

The life apparatus draws the line of life that looks like horizontal lines. Stream of consciousness, it is about futility and repetition, it is about breath and heart, it is about language and understanding, it is about earth movement and landscape, it is about sound and skyline, it is about stability and swinging, it is about statistics and relations, it is about rhythm and sleep, it is about levels of light and darkness.


About Paradise

Video, 22 min, 2014

The paradise can be a wonderful hope or conditional promise or it is an illusion itself. It may represent the dream of justice and the longing for comfort or is standing against the fear of the nothingness. The different perceptions of what may come after death does influence people’s life style through times and cultures.

The film is based on several testimonies that have been collected from protagonists coming from Egypt and Germany. These unscientifically collected interviews from individuals, who are belonging to different cultures narrate their personal as well as cultural minted imagination about the paradise or the idea of life after death. At the same time, the film shows some scenes – in a video collage style – from two pilgrim journeys (Mecca and Saint Diego de Compostella way) that were done by the artist himself. These kinds of journey through history and even before the three religions, represent the way to god, they are mostly mixed with the hope of having the prize, the paradise. 

The underlying idea of the three works The Book – Repetitive Units – About Paradise:

The theory tells that the ancient Egyptians had divided Egypt – the land – geographically into two parts with the river Nile running between them: the east and the west side. They had chosen the side where the sun rises to build everything related to their daily life and the side of the sunset to construct tombs and temples for the life after death using hard, long-lasting materials. It was thought that they divided the year into two parts: in one part they devoted their efforts to agriculture and harvesting, then storing; the other part was to establish what they would need for their immortal life after death. There are two hypothesis: one of them says that ancient Egyptians had gained knowledge from the successive messengers who came from heaven after Adam´s and Eve’s desending down to earth which inspired them to be concerned with resurrection, judgment and eternity, the other hypothesis says that the ancient Egyptians simply invented these ideas about life after death.

Exhibition views

About Paradise / Repetitive Units-2015-Zone B-Gallery-Berlin, Germany