Winter 2010
March 2010

Under the Patronage of H.E. Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Alkhalifa
Minister of Culture and Information

“Distorted Reality”

Solo Exhibition by Faisal Samra

7 March 2010

Albareh Gallery Bahrain

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October 2010
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About Faisal Samra

The Saudi born artist, Faisal Samra was raised in Bahrain and he studied Fine arts in Paris. He now lives and works between Bahrain and Paris. Since 1974, he exhibits in various cities throughout the Middle-East and Europe.

In his latest works that combines digital photography, computer graphics and video, the artist builds a concept around reality and its distorted images. While pointing at the ’’image producers’’ and the virtual reality that we as individuals live in, Faisal Samra depicts through a costumed figure, all wrapped in colored fabrics, standing before a grey concrete wall, a nearly sculptured photographs.

The artist presents a personal critic of his environment that he formulates in his series of poetic triptych photographs and three video projections.
Artist's Statement

Distorted Reality is the amalgamation of images that makes up the visual material we are confronted with in our day to day life, the artificially simulated "virtual reality" that we occupy in all of its forms. These images, ones that we project of ourselves and that we create of and for the world that surrounds us, are in juxtaposition with the reality of our actual life. Since the first wall drawings made by cavemen, we began our journey of visual representation, our expedition in search of meaningful imagery, establishing, in our time, a very complex relationship with the image that now affects our life both consciously and subconsciously, even filtering into our dreams.
Today, the image has become potent as our visual field is haunted incessantly by "image producers" of all sorts, producers who strive and compete to steal our attention and seduce us via the images of a "distorted reality" that they have especially tailored for us, their unknowing targets.

There are two kinds of "image producers." The first type is, what I call, the "made-up image producer," who distorts reality by producing images which hide part or all of the truth to make reality look more appealing, taking advantage of the fact that we are all in pursuit of the "better" and that we all avoid the "worse,"  both of which, granted, are highly relative terms. This basic instinct that we possess has been abused in commercial advertisements, public communications, political discourse, and mass media.
The dangerous facet of this type of imagery is that, most of the time, it disguises the "worse" as the "better;" it superficially and deceivingly polishes an ugly reality in order to sell it, in order to secure and/or buy for it a space within our field of vision. These "image producers" have waged a ruthless war that they will win if we do not understand and expose their motives, thereby creating an automatic self-defense system in resistance, a system that lies within the self, based on the idea of 'I know that you know that I know you are faking.' Only in this way can we change the rules of the game and tip it in our favor, at least in the long run, ultimately obliging such “image producers” to respect our intelligence.

The second kind of “image producer” is the "non made-up image producer," who distorts reality in a way to produce an image that unveils the hidden truth, that shows the naked reality, as it is, and that vehemently opposes and fights against existing dolled-up images. This form of imagery focuses on revealing the "worse" rather than the "better." It is the type of image created and expressed in art. The weakness of this image lies, however, in its unpopularity, for it is consumed by a limited public, especially in comparison to the public of the first type of image… How many know Dante & his Divine Comedy? But does not every one know McDonalds and Mickey Mouse? It is a fierce war that is being battled, but is not the perseverance of “non made-up image producers” in their continuous struggle to divulge the truth and their endurance thus far in and of itself a form of wining?
The images that I have produced are "non made-up images," created using the same techniques - performance, digital photography, computer graphics, and video - as those employed by "made-up image producers" but used in a way to contradict the "made-up image.”

This work is my self-defense system against the invasion of my field of vision by the “made-up image.” It represents my personal critical vision of us and of the world around us. Through it, I am doing as most artists do, each in their individual way.