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Artificial Nostalgia

Artist Statement

Our observation of the world starts at an early age, and awareness of all the information absorbed happens later on in

life which gives memories an essential role in forming our knowledge and how we feel about the world. For the Arab world being an ‘other’ has become an indefinite reality, and the dimensions of this ‘otherness’ mostly lead to lessening of the humanity an Arab individual represents.

The scale of measuring the humanity of an eastern person is based on embedded impositions made by the west, which

are shaped by false imagery and storytelling. Depictions of the Arab world throughout history have always been associated with an exotic mirage, a world of fantasy. And examining these notions objectively with the knowledge of how they formed and the tools used to spread them, in my opinion, can liberate the person from the attributes resulting from the normative either the urge to resist stereotypes which consist of an apologetic attitude and attempts of trying to change them and prove them wrong; or worse, falling into the trap of ( الغبن ) where a person can be crippled by anger and injustice. Instead, one can realize their ability to produce their own reality.

I take nostalgia as my point of departure. With the attempt to exchange the intangible fragments of my past with the tangible. As a millennial who belongs to a generation where obtaining the items I encountered in my childhood and lost is possible. I started collecting items from different websites but mostly from eBay. This urge to search and collect took a different turn, with the awareness of an adult I realized a different reality for these objects, I saw layers of meanings a child would not comprehend but would definitely be shaped by. Fortunately, the joyfulness of reminiscing on the past was not tainted by my new understanding of them, as I chose to use the symbols used against my identity as a tool to negate them.

Abdullah Al-Jahdhami Shaweesh Husain collage with found objects .png

Abdullah Al-Jahdhami, Hussain, 2019

Collage with found objects

Abdullah Al-Jahdhami Shaweesh Sanshirō Collage with found object .png

Abdullah Al-Jahdhami, Sanshirō, 2019

Collage with found objects

Abdullah Al-Jahdhami Shaweesh Flightless Firefly Collage with found objects .png

Abdullah Al-Jahdhami, Flightless Firefly, 2019

Collage with found objects

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