Long Distance Call by Faisal Karadsheh
02 August – 07 September
Medium: Two handheld shower heads, shower hose, human hair, water droplets, Reused (Burlap, Popped balloons, bread clips, tea light metal cups, cannabis packing bags, beer bottle caps, pizza box packaging sheet, festival wristbands, cigarette filters, umbrella fabric), sound.
In this work, Karadsheh playfully expands upon contemporary discourses on cultural identity. Long Distance Call questions how the sum of material parts, when arranged, could potentially influence and mislead a viewer’s perceptions; an experimental ode to Gestaltism. Though the whole appears to represent a ‘Middle Eastern’ tapestry, it is nothing but an artifact of the artist’s life experiences and the people he met across the way.
All of the arranged materials were gathered from social events attended by the artist, where they were deemed useless, i.e. popped balloons, burnt-out candles, opened beer bottles and cigarette butts… It was the process of collection that guided the final composition of the consolidated form. This installation transverses between the individual and the collective. It is through social waste, this material footprint, that he chose to understand himself as an individual. Karadsheh says “I was inspired by something Slavoj Žižek said. In one video, he talks behind a human wasteland and exclaims, ‘When you’re really in love with someone you don’t idealize, you love the ugly parts too.’ I also tried to find a way to love this so-called “waste material” through constantly experimenting and iterating.” As with love, the process of exploring the affordances of these social materials, beyond their functional human contingent lifespan, required openness. The durational element embedded in all these objects manifests in the sound component as well. The artist collects and stitches sonic traces of social bodies as a way of dealing with the passing of time.
Through a process of transformation and iteration, the work satirically presents as an idea of what a ‘Middle Eastern’ carpet would look like, yet fails to reflect what it is or how it functions. Two transparent shower heads filled with Karadsheh’s own hair are conjoined to transform into a phone-like sculpture, and two wet umbrellas into cushions. The installation is set up like a game to be played by two, and yet the players aren’t able to communicate. The work, as well, is not able to communicate the artist’s cultural identity, and that’s the whole point. You can’t reduce a cultural experience through an easily accessible symbol or representation.
Faisal Karadsheh is a Jordanian-Palestinian multidisciplinary artist currently based in Toronto. His oeuvre spans across various media including painting, sound, video, installations, printmaking, and XR. Karadsheh’s work has been showcased in exhibitions in Jordan, Lebanon, and Canada, with recent presentations at NAISA’s annual Deep Wireless festival and the Toronto Arab Film Festival. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies, Visual Studies, and Psychology from the University of Toronto.
Karadsheh’s artistic practice delves into the body, exploring its boundaries, histories, and the overlapping systems that govern it. He continually engages with themes of skin, heredity, gender and sexuality, cultural ecology, decomposition and consumption. Through a process of collecting material remnants such as consumer waste and biological by-products, he constructs or challenges narratives surrounding “the self.” He ultimately works towards redefining predetermined sociocultural meanings around the intricate political relationship between the body and its environment. Recently, he has been exploring the possibilities of examining traces of the body through sound, pushing beyond the humanist emphasis on the visual.