“I don’t know why I came as a one-eyed dwarf in the middle of the Forensic Hospital’s large garden. All of this was created in the void just to see my wife.” 09/07/2018 "
She laughed as she interpreted that dream that I decided to consider an open end. Afterwards, I decided to quit that project, destroy the work, and travel with the pieces to its resting place, leaving the eyelid behind. To understand the darkness, you must close your eyes tightly. How can I make a painting of someone being killed? The problem wasn’t in the act of painting, the problem was in painting a victim. My mother always wanted me to abandon what I do in the name of ‘contemporary art’, and to return to reason. The victim was my cousin and brother in-law. I used to stare at the canvas (size 80 x 60), to revisit that painting from time to time. I couldn’t find a single thought except to leave the whiteness of this painting. How will I get out of the trap of the image? The designer who did posters for the recently killed or deceased was faster than me. I gave him the name and the date of martyrdom, and it did not take him anytime. In ten minutes, he put the dead person in front of the sky, wingless in his military uniform, with fake roses taken from another dead person. As if helping each other out, sharing their skies and roses on that computer. With this
technology, what role do artists have? We should find a convincing answer to this question: why paint? I stared at the canvas until the colors of the poster on the wall of our house began to fade and weather. I canceled Facebook friendship requests from anyone who asked me about the painting. How will I present this project to my family, instead of a painting they are waiting for? From dreams of the victim's family, and my dreams on multiple pillows" Travelling from Iraq to Beirut, Ali Eyal carried with him these pillowcases, each a canvas for specific reflections he evoked in his sleep. Usually a painter, Eyal was asked by his family to produce a portrait of his step-brother who was murdered. Instead, he kept all these fabrics with traces of his thoughts and dreams. The following are their transcriptions in English:
“In those days, there was no snake, no scorpion, no hyena, There was no lion, no fierce dog, no wolf, There was no fear or horror, Man did not have a competitor” “The land of Dilmun is holy, the land of Dilmun is pure. In Dilmun no cry the raven utters, Nor does the bird of ill-omen foretell calamity. The lion kills not, nor does the ravening wolf Snatch away the defenseless lamb. Unknown is the wild dog who tears the kid. The dove does not conceal its head. No one here says, ''My eyes are sick,'' No one here says, ''My head is sick,'' No one here says, ''I am an old woman,'' No one here says, ''I am an old man.'' The maiden walks here in innocence. No lustrations need to be poured. The somber death priest walks not here, By Dilmun's walls he has no cause for lamentations.
The Legend of Dilmun
Today, I asked my brother to delay or stop the tears that are pouring out from every crevice. And he fulfills his duty to this day.
A little boy who I always carried in my arm discovered my secret. With his finger, he pointed my father, my aunt's son, and the children with him to my room which was unfinished. And he was pointing at me.
A Finger Gesture 2017/09/22
Today, I asked my wife to enter our house which was still a bare structure. Every room in it did not know how to present itself to others as a function and defined space, as a kitchen or a bedroom or a guest room, only the stairs were easy to identify. We used lighting from some of
our friends’ and relatives’ cell phones. 2017/09/23
I tried to take my cousin with me, but his brother prevented him from coming along. The grass was flooded with water, the sounds of our feet were louder than our voices. Then I left them.
I rode on my cousin's back, laughing until the heaviness of my body weighed his to the floor. At the time I was with him on their large farm that he always dreamed of visiting. Frightened, he fled from me into his grandfather's large guest room which was infested with spiders. Spiderwebs covered every corner of the house and framed his grandfather’s forehead.
I tried to enter a large hall, a resting place for women from Iran. Time and again, I checked on my wife and her mother. I told a woman from Iran to tell them that I visited them three times.
My hand hurt a lot, one of my relatives alleviated that pain. Pain
I was inside half a block of land surrounded by houses from three directions. I leaned on one of the walls of those houses, put my cousin's head in my lap Date, unknown
I said to my wife, I have been defeated and I have lost, and here I am now. All the credit goes to
a group of people who have given me this land that has not yet been built. 2017/11/28
I visited the Netherlands today with my friends to visit my brother who lives in Utrecht. I was wearing a very big bag with a design that bewildered all the Dutch citizens, a design that no one in Europe has thought of: a bag that resembled a tapeworm. I greeted my brother from six
meters away; then, the fog engulfed us and we disappeared. A bag
My very good scent exposed me; the light radiating from every pore of my skin exposed me with the fragrance. My sister-in-law knew about my presence on the ground floor and asked me about this strange scent, as she called it.
We sat on the roof of a speeding car which had a coffin on it. I was squatting on top of the car with one of my relatives and I was interpreting the dreams, dream after dream. My voice was clear, as if everything was listening to me, not only him, but even those orchards we quickly passed by and the barren land and the air.
One of these days, I tried to come into the form of a butterfly or a cat or a dove. I was looking forward to a dream but only found darkness or scenarios where I did not exist. I used the butterfly for only forty minutes; these forty minutes were forty years. I consumed the butterfly’s entire life, its happiness, destroyed its youth, and brought it into old age. Afterwards, I left it as a corpse at my family's home.
Today we all exited the mortuary during lunch. The smell of rice filled the whole place. We met at one table, except for the surgeons; they were busy with the autopsies of stillborns. Afterwards, we returned according to numerical order.
I always return with the dust as my companion, covering my head and hands. I entered the house of my in-laws. Someone hugged my feet from below, and I cursed him jokingly. He stormed in on my eyelid’s surface and asked me about judgement, carrying with him his artistic work. He asked me repeatedly about judgement and the punishment of the holy books until he completed his project with proof of my words. Here, he destroyed the space of the dream, the importance of the place, and, in a strange way, penetrated the composition and controlled it, I don't know how! My wife stopped him from repeating his questions. I decided to destroy the dream with a smile, and I didn’t answer him. But I know that true resurrection and torment is when the living open their eyelids to dead. The resurrection and cold, seizing hell is when the living subconscious of this person invites me to the surface of the eyelid and then destroys for me and for others our world that we look forward to through the darkness. Perhaps our world gets destroyed with the opening of the eyelid and morning work appointment. Today,
I destroyed this moment.
A small, white tiger was chasing them in circles, slashing here and there, in the kitchen and the house's furniture. He then continued chasing the family in circles. I was looking at them from the void, then I took my gun and went to the house, fired a bullet in his head, and killed him. Someone put his hands in my chest and made an opening from my throat to my stomach. He wore me as a jacket. He walked around the city wearing my body; I cursed him but he did not care.
He excavated my grave. He took me into his room and I did not say a word, yet I smiled at him and almost laughed because he resembled the actors of the British television shows he has seen. He kept my corpse in his private room on the second floor. All the residents in the area gathered around his home demanding that he return my body to the grave. He responded to neither his mother nor his relatives who begged him. He carried me and put me in a closet and, at times, between carpets and mattresses, as if I was banknote, waiting for me to speak. After a while, I opened both my eyes. My left eye looked as if it was irritated inside or as if the black pupil seeped out into the night. I frightened him considerably and the visit ended.
I don’t know why I came as a one-eyed dwarf in the middle of the Forensic Hospital’s large garden. All of this was created in the void just to see my wife. 09/07/2018
She laughed as she interpreted that dream. She laughed as she interpreted that dream that I decided to consider an open end. Afterwards, I quit that project, destroyed the work, and travelled with the pieces to its resting place, leaving the eyelid behind.
ali eyal, during the course of his residency, developed two projects: “painting size 80 x 60” and “solo exhibition of landscapes.” he spent time working on research paintings and writing on two projects about the image, painting, and idea of stolen lands. ali was a homeworks participant at ashkal alwan during this time.