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The Purple Artificial Forest

The Purple Artificial Forest, 2005
Video animation, 8' 50''
Drawings, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the Amal Kenawy Estate and Darat al Funun – The Khalid Shoman Foundation
About the work

Amal Kenawy: Frozen Memory
3 November 2018 - 19 January 2019
Bait Al Serkal
Curator: Hoor Al Qasimi

About the work

I dreamt of a purple artificial forest
I created an artificial purple theatre
Parts of home furniture, human parts
The bed was surrounded with electricity pylons
I was lying
Parts of a human body
Hand, legs, a face
All looking into a mirror
The only thing I see is him devouring my picture
Parts of home furniture
Dinner table
They were sitting at the end of the tunnel
They were sitting across the table eating me once more
They eat each other
My legs grow
I give birth to light, and the light eats me
And I melt into a tunnel of endless darkness
Parts of home furniture, human parts

- Amal Kenawy

The Purple Artificial Forest is rooted in Kenawy’s lifelong practice of exploring notions of memory and illusion in relation to tangible and intangible dimensions of lived reality. This work portrays a world that appears surreal, but it is, in fact, a reflection of the actual/physical world. Through animation and drawings, Kenawy creates her unreal world by placing human body parts such as legs, hands and decapitated heads in intimate, domestic spaces and using open space as a background. Her use of domestic spaces in this way aims to deprive them of their sense of comfort and security.

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