"A Thousand Times NO"

Letters Off the Page @ Future of Tradition – Tradition of Future exhibition

17 sept 2010
9 janv 2011

" When you want to deny all of the stereotypes that are imposed on you and that try to define your role in the world.When you want to reject almost every aspect of your reality. When you want to decline every political reality you live under. When you want to dismiss all of the options available to you. When you want to negate all the accusations that go hand in hand with your identity. When you want to refuse to be an imitator or follower of the West, yet you also refuse the regressive interpretation of your heritage. ‘A thousand Nos’ are not enough."

Close-up - photo ©Farah Behbehani Bahia Shehab

With: Bahia Shehab

Bahia Shehab. A Thousand Times No. 2010.
Plexiglass curtain. 2.5 m x 6 m, and 1016 page book documenting the research.
(Collection of the designer)

This work is a research-based tribute to the wealth, diversity and
freedom of expression in Islamic art.
It is a rejection of conformity and repression that often plagues
the Arab and Islamic cultures. It traces the history of one letterform
the Lam-alif (which means NO in Arabic), and repeats it a thousand
different times to illustrate the common Arabic expression: “No, and a
thousand times no!”. The book by the same title and also designed for
the installation, is a visual documentation of the different lam-alifs,
their origin, placement and medium chronologically, published by
Khatt Books in Amsterdam, 2010.