Universes in Universe

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You Will Be Killed

You Will Be Killed, 2004
Video animation, 5' 56''
Paintings, 200 x 150 cm each
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

In the video animation You Will Be Killed, Amal Kenawy projects a series of drawings of a human figure to expose the inner being and memories of humanity.

Some of the symbols in the film define the location in which a specific incident, stored in memory, has taken place, while other symbols shed light on the relationship of the human figure to the surroundings. The work makes clear that any incident in one’s life is not indicative of one’s geographical whereabouts but rather of one’s feelings, memories and motives.

The beginning of You Will Be Killed was inspired by Kenawy’s visit to a military hospital built in Egypt 30 years ago. Looking into the association of the hospital with the history of war and violence, Kenawy shows how the expressions of violence expand far beyond just war. She explores the effect of violence on humanity, one’s relationship with oneself and one’s memories, focusing on a portrait of the figure in the drawings—pictures and images of someone trying to fit into his or her environment but unable to do so. She also employs drawings on walls that incessantly seem to devour the figure. In this video, the figure’s memories and relation to him/herself and the environment are exposed. The figure is depicted as either an absent or static observer while the walls around him or her move dynamically. As the animation progresses, the figure and the surroundings exchange roles, and the line that separates their original functions eventually fades away. Kenawy sees violence as the force that delineates the essence of the relationship between human beings and their surroundings.

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