in 1975, Lebanon, Mahmoud Hojeij is an international award winning
filmmaker and a contemporary artist of mixed media. He lives and
works in Lebanon.
was trained to learn that a white piece of paper is usually
the beginning of an idea. this is how art, or writing for that
matter starts. but how would you feel when a white piece becomes
the final outcome of your idea? that merely gives you the feeling
that youre about to start all over again. where you finished
is almost where you started and thus there is no finish line,
its open. art has the ability to start and finish at the same
i was trained to think that the size of an object is the exact
measure of that same object. why would a certain centimeter
decide to measure differently? i just finished measuring this
piece and now it does not look like itself anymore. it seems
that centimeters do change, so you have to be careful.
i was trained to watch out for specific areas in maps. maps
are made so that we can locate pieces of land, countries, and
whole continents. a given kilo meter square is kind of final,
as far as we know, and we are almost sure where that specific
kilo-meter square is located. the minimum you can expect from
a map is to show you how far or close certain locations are,
not only from each other, but also from you. look again; maps
are never finished so you can not be sure about anything.
i was trained to look at a number and show respect. once a number
is mentioned, you feel the argument is over. a statistics with
scribbled numbers or graphs is enough to prove a point. would
anyone dare or try to argue the fate of a number?
this is exactly what this exhibition is all about. the argument
starts right here. what is there to question but the numbers
around us? or the maps that we are supposedly part of? or even
all the statistics that we are constantly bombarded by? why
should a centimeter tell me about the measurement as opposed
to the feeling of an object?
maps, graphs, statistics and quoted information in general no
longer serve to end an argument, but rather they serve to initiate
it. with time, maps are losing respect, numbers are losing credibility
and information is seeking help; who is going to step in except
the moment an artist stands in front of a number or any piece
of information, it is transformed into an image. artists work
with images without any pre-judgments or suppositions, and so
by default information passes through the same process. nothing
is final, and just when you think its over and done with,
it could merely be the very beginning.
come to think of it, maybe information in general does not want
to be so utterly rigidly fixed; I see graphs screaming wanting
to get out of their shapes and be something else and maps crying
for change. perhaps this is why when you look at a number you
can feel its agony, the need to go forward and not stand still.
the pieces in this exhibition are trying to help. maybe they
can work out something, maybe not. art is neither innocent nor
should it be. a given theory that summarizes our main goal;
pushing information further along and farther ahead until there
is no longer a number, or fact for that matter.
i was trained to look at an image and show respect.
i will always do, relatively speaking."