Dazed Digital


Guest Editor: Aya Atoui

August 3, 2011

In her first guest post, Aya Atoui shares introspective new works from a collaborative art project with a Dubai-based designer

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Aya Atoui 

"Collaborating with Manal Elias always makes for a good time. Especially when more than half the collaboration consists of how you can sit and jibber and jabber and jibber and jabber. Well that’s what we did… We spoke for a good five years. We made it long and we made it last. Finally, during the time interval of a warm-ish mild-ish month, we figured that our identities were not really… identities. DRAMA! Not really. We didn’t really react too wildly about it.

We just kind of found out that we didn’t really belong anywhere specific; neither did we belong to a specific type of people. What is it about being in oblivion that is so disconcerting? Bewildering?  Disturbing?? And all the other words from the negative side of the vocabulary in my head. It’s not really that bad. It didn’t hurt us that much to have our phantom identities scurry around the city of Dubai and place themselves. Well, that process was a little bit iffy… But finding out that we didn’t really belong anywhere was like potential energy at it’s finest. As soon as we found out, we were at rest or maybe even at peace? No. Never peace. Anyway we used the stored energy to make something out of it and decided to come up with these photographs.

In conclusion, we never ended up finding ourselves in this process. We came up with a pretty picture or two.  Always a good start. Manal always appreciated a pretty picture for it’s sole purpose, the fact that it was pretty. I’m learning to appreciate the pretties for being pretty as well."

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