Metaphor exhibition by Saher Nassar is on view at Zawyeh Gallery were the artist reflects the spirit of a mutineer or a revolutionist. Nassar rebels against dominant metaphors, established symbols and the power of authority. Through four series of artworks, he focuses on the theme of breaking metaphors and resisting all sort of rules, expectations or norms and questioning all sorts of representations of establishment and authority. The exhibition includes different body of works with a range of materials and styles as Nassar uses a mixture of abstract paintings, collage, drawings and photographs in addition to ready made objects.
In one series, he places five packs of cigarettes in the middle of five different archival images of war that took place in five different countries around the world. The message on the five packs reads: Smoking Kills in five different languages connected to the five different geographies where the photos were taken. The series stresses on two layers of dangerous threats to humanity: war and smoking.
Saher Nassar, Smoking Kills, 2021. Collage on paper, 66 x 56 cm
Nevertheless, the third layer that he is trying to convey can be read between the lines; it’s the lethal combination between capitalism and politics where the politics of war paves the way for western multi national conglomerates to dominate the economies of poorer countries selling products that also kill.
In Network Nassar works take the form of abstract art through the geometric colourful strips that occupy the canvas. In the middle of each work, he adds an actual blood slide sample. The stripes are meant to reflect the variety of data that blood samples hold, representing “one’s behavior and their likes and dislikes, and what makes them who they are”.
Saher Nassar, Network #4 & #1, 2021. Collage on board, 20 x 20 x 5 cm
So even though “blood“ can unite a group of people metaphorically, the details tell a different story. In this sense, Nassar calls against tribal partisanship and ethnocentrism and looking at individuals for who they are.
In Kill The Metaphor he presents a series of mixed media artworks exploring “the myth of power and the power of myth” in different ways.
He explains the metaphor as “a tool that’s meant to help us understand phenomena and make sense of the world around us, however, it could be deceitful and could prevent us from seeing the truth.”
Nassar’s watchfully chosen words and images are an attempt to expose objects or actions that we think means something while in actual fact they reinforce the authority of power over people and encourage narrow mindedness. Killing the metaphor is ridiculing and exposing what lies beyond the surface and encourages accepting other opinions, beliefs, behaviors, different from one’s own and the rejection of the domination of the power of authority.
Metaphor is organised as part of a series of exhibitions at Alserkal Avenue with the intention to encourage young Palestinian artists to produce and participate, and provide them a platform to exhibit their works in front of the wider international audience, as part of the gallery’s attempts to empower and support young emerging artists.
The info is extracted from the press release.
The exhibition runs until the 6th of November.