n. Hinduism [Sanskrit]
1. The individual soul or essence
2. The essence that is eternal, unchanging, and indistinguishable from the essence of the universe
Abstracted figurative photographs constitute the geometric, yet intrinsically organic, digitally manipulated photographic works in Hazem Mahdy's Atman. The monochromatic imagery is both specific and ambiguous- the forms are familiar in their reference to Fractal Art and Islamic geometry, but made of segmented self-portraits of the artist: an arm, a hand. The works are a phenomenological investigation into the innate connectedness of existence… the viewer recognizes themselves in the artwork, and themselves in the fundamental components of nature and vise versa.
By producing these works through a deeply contemporary and relevant medium, two seemingly contradictory two elements merge: man-made ephemeral elements of life (digitally produced artworks), and the nature-produced aspects that create mankind. The visual journey extends past the patterns which themselves continue beyond the limits of the frame into the mental: the manipulation of perspective and tonal contrast give the compositions spatial depth beyond the 2D constraints, creating a rhythmic, almost meditative pattern that the eye takes over the works and back again, inducing a sensorial calm that surpasses technical elements. This mirrors the artistic process, which begins with meditation and manifests through an almost "automatic creation" technique where the imagery emerges freely, making each work a unique and while photographically reproducible, physically non-replicable, each work is a specific transient moment. The timeless and ancient adage of the spiritual beliefs of connectedness to each other and nature is re-contextualized through the choice of medium and process into a relevant and accessible aesthetic revelation.
UAE-raised Egyptian Hazem Mahdy (b. 1986) has a BFA in Photography from the American University of Dubai and is pursuing a BFA in Film Production. This will be Mahdy's second solo exhibition at Carbon 12.