CHAMBER OF GOD
New Project by MUJAHIDIN NURRAHMAN
21 - 24 January 2016
ARTSTAGE 2016 Singapore
Mujahidin’s installation titled CHAMBER OF GOD, to be presented at Lawangwangi’s special projects booth at Art Stage Singapore from January 21 – 24 2016 at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, not only displays his latest artistic exploration involving brief observations of old found footage from World War II, purchased at a flea market during his residence in France, together with other found objects.
He has an attraction towards Arabesque ornaments and patterns, used to hide images of violence like weapons of war or hidden symbols, exploring ambiguous signals to open up issues that bother him but seem to be treated as common. Mujahidin hypothesizes that the conflicts in the Middle East after World War II were “created”, as these conflicts are heavily related to the interests of parties “foreign” from those shores. The Arab people, and in general the Muslim people, have been stigmatized as barbaric.
Mujahidin created a special, half-closed space, half dark, almost like entering a Middle Eastern-style praying room, with a room partition with Arabesque patterns from paper, becoming some sort of translucent wall into the space. Between the geometrical motifs, our sights are directed to a masked figure, hanging with a torso shaped from cardboard cut outs with Arabesque patterns. Visitors are allowed to enter the space to see up close. On each side, Mujahidin placed hexagonal shapes with Arabesque patterns, that shape a triangle, one pointing up, one pointing down, which combined will shape the symbol for the star of David. The rear wall has Arabesque patterns on canvas with a round shape with a black background. The room creates an ambience that provokes multiple interpretations, especially in connecting the symblos (the modern and the old), the objects and the photo images in the space.
The connections between the elements and symbols in the space direct us towards memories and history of WW II, which is also related to the conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli people, and also the people around them. The prolonged conflict also provoked Mujahidin with many questions, on the actual root of conflict when the British provided the Promised Land as an interpretation of the New Testament, to a nation of people who were recently displaced from German land due to Hitler’s agitations in Europe – the Jewish on Palestinian land.
Mujahidin’s space installation becomes a metaphor of the contemplation room, to find the core values hidden from the various symbols and events related to the constellation of God’s religions. The space becomes a sort of Chamber Of God, to reinterpret current problems. Especially to what is called “Terror” and “terrorism”, “radicalism”, “fundamentalism” and others closely tied to the image of Islam and the Middle East, or issues with the followers of God’s religions. Through his work Mujahidin does not mean to dissect the issue, but offer a possible wider point of view to the core problem he feels and experiences daily. This Chamber Of God is also similar to confession booths usually found in Catholic churches.
(Rifky Effendy, Curator)