Monday, March 29, 2010

Personal artist statement-Ayla Hibri.

Since I just moved here and since I am very attached to my pre-Chicago experience, I have been trying to figure out ways to let go and in the same time understand my new environment.
What stuck me the most, coming from Lebanon, where my childhood and youth was not lacking in experiences—including war and political turmoil, but also including luxury and artistic expression that is fresh and not derived, albeit irregular and chaotic—is that Americans were yearning for experience and existential meaning, a concept unnecessary to most outside the United States. Is this what happens to society, once it has peaked?
I must say I was culture shocked for the fist time in my life, and through my work so far, I have been trying to understand this, and in the same time, try to show where I come.
To do so, I have been coming up with different techniques. I found that giving myself a goal and doing whatever it takes to conclude it, either by repetition or long never ending processes helped me forget, it was like mediation. I thought of nothing except the present, 60 paper boats in 2 hours. Writing the same sentence over and over again, watching the water dripping transform my image. I did not care about the end product. For me, it was the about process.
And when I felt the need to scream out where I come from, and how I am different, I tried to imagine performances that called out for immediate attention, that touched other people s week points.
This working technique will be ephemeral, since I know that eventually all this will pass, and I will have different things to say.

ayla, there's some good content in this to work out.  i think this is too first person and biographical, but i understand the difficulty in getting around this.  here's the start of a second draft:

My artwork explores the tension between a Lebanese upbringing informed by war and political turmoil, and an adulthood contextualized by the American artistic yearning for experience and existential meaning.  I attempt to reconcile these two paradigms through a focus on artistic process over end product, meditative acts that in themselves speak to a personal politics of investigation....

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