Video projection, wood, ropes and steel sheets

INDULGENCES: REBORN

"Indulgences: Reborn" is a video installation that attempts to relate what is happening now in the Middle East to what was happening in the past. In particular, this installation emphasizes the similarities between the current events in the Middle East and the events in Europe during the dark ages.  The suicide vests are the contemporary equivalent to the indulgences from the dark ages. Both are utilized by the so-called religiousmen and marketed as the key to salvation and god’s forgiveness. Moreover, this installation can be seen in two perspectives. First, it explains to non-Muslims that the current violence is the fruit of abusing religion and following a false path and in some ways, it’s a revival of the indulgences. Second, it warns Muslims that they are living in their own dark age and they need an awakening.

The installation consists of three parts; rows of thin steel vests, half of a scaffolding octagonal structure, and a video screen. The first part contains several rows of vests, where the audiences walk through them and not pass them. The second part of the installation is called “the gate of heaven”. The gate of heaven is built out of old fashion wood scaffolding to reflect the fragility and lack of sophistication of the group. The octagonal layout of the structure mirrors popular structures in both Christian and Islamic architecture.


Those parts of the installation are the corresponding scene of the holy war in the middle ages; rows of armors in front of a fortress. Rows of thin steel sheet vests that represent bombing vests are contemporary equivalent to medieval armors. While the scaffolding structure is equivalent to a stone fortress. This war, which is so-called Jihad, is reductive of holy war. The scaffolding structure has neither past nor future it only exists in the present, while the thin sheet steel vest does not protect who wears it. The installation is aimed to discomfort the audience through a fragile scene, which mirrors the nature of Islamic groups despite their lack of sophistication they succeeded in spreading terror. The third part is the video screening, which comes after the audiences enter the gate of heaven. Inside the structure, they will see a preparation ritual of the suicide bomber before his mission.

INDULGENCES: REBORN

Photographic collage

Photographic collages were created by combining two photographs of men from totaly different worlds.

MOHAMMAD AL-HEMD