21st Art Division Grand Prize
Interstices / Opus I – Opus II
Haythem ZAKARIA [Tunisia]
While “Opus I” captures the static desert’s landscape, “Opus II” catches the dynamic marine expanse. As a result of the videos digital process, this installation project reveals a “meta-landscape” that goes beyond the original landscape. The title “In- terstices” refers to the Latin word interstitium (inter for “between” and sistere as “to stand, to place”). It re- lates to the idea of intervals both of space and time.The horizontal black and white footage of the landscape is layered with monochromatic geometries (squares, rectangles, straight lines) and inter- mittent natural sounds (wind, waves, etc.). These elements reveal the order and the rhythm hidden within the na- ture. These images were captured in the north african Sahara of Tunisia, the homeland of the artist. A place that faces political and international issues such as the flow of migrants trying to reach Europe, facing the borders ob- stacle and the extreme conditions of this crossing.Yet this work shows no trace of any human presence or social activ- ity, focusing only on the images of nature, a nature that shows an inter- nal order and harmony. The video, in which time and space are shown as abstractions while human activities remain abse nt, questions the es- sence of land and landscape.
Reason for Award
As I view the submissions for this festival, I get the sense that they can be separated into two major catego- ries: those which use technology to surprise the senses, and those which shake up the viewers’ thoughts by going through their senses. Haythem ZAKARIA’s work Interstices /Opus I – Opus II belongs to the latter category. It informs us that a “landscape” is not something that exists physically, but rather, “something that is to be inter- preted.” Like turning the pages of a philosophy book, each scene steers the viewers’ thoughts quietly yet radically. The specific images of con- tinuous horizons across an ocean or land, the abstract shapes, and even the sounds ask the viewers, “What is landscape?” “What is perspective?” This work, which is relatively static compared to other submissions, gradually drew forth the judges’ curi- osity and was selected for the Grand Prize. There is great significance in the selection of this piece, which provided proof that media plays an important role in expanding not only our senses, but our thoughts as well. (FUJIMOTO Yukio)