Eman Hamdy, born in 1986, is an Egyptian artist, based in Alexandria. She studied art at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Alexandria University and graduated in 2010. She currently works as a teaching assistant in the faculty of fine arts, Alexandria University. Hamdy participated in the MASS Alexandria study program 2010 – 2012, and assisted in its coordination. Her work is concerned with the exploration of moments of human vulnerability that examine identity.
Places were the original theme of this work, personal vision on/of places that, surrounding the artist, guide each other to places, enriched by the power of narration. The artist took a tour into places she chose based on different motives, and that opened up to her based on the evocative force of certain places. Through this tour she discovered a lot, not only about the places, but more about herself and the way those places touched her. The artist has always been interested in this intangible, sensory relationship we have with places, and the fact that every place has its own element to convey their invisible sensations to us. The artist decided to go on a journey towards places, new and old, she had feelings about beyond their normal appearance. As the artist was always fascinated by the power of narration, the kind that articulates a beyond feeling not a story, she wrote the text and asked a reader to voiceover the whole video as an invisible witness for the entire journey, just as she felt herself in all the places like a third-party through the screen of her smartphone, capturing those scenes of the places she chose so as to indicate the way she received them. Shooting the scenes and recording the audio, again with her smartphone, was more intimate for her than using high-tech equipment for the same purpose; this intimacy was obvious in the rather shaky movement in the video image and the tele-present voice of the reader.
In this video the artist used text as the main element of her piece about Giving, using the trees as representers. The poetic text was inspired by the article The Symbolic Meaning Of Trees by Jean Raffa, reflecting the spiritual growth of the artists passing through. The silent images, long shots of trees connecting the earth and the sky together through its meditation, the plastic aesthetics and the whispering voice invite the audience to enter the video, feel through her eyes and breathe through her voice. All the elements of the video unite to raise the question: “Can the roots of ego melt into the contemplation of nature?” The artist leaves it to the audiences to be affected and find their own answers or not…
In this video the artist deals with the relationship between memory and time and how she perceives them. The text is poetic and combined with images that have been selected to suggest a certain memory and imply a certain feeling the artist had walking through her mind and dreams; like walking through a computer program – using a program and dealing with its images while still listening to the sounds of the other program running in the background. This implies the virtual world effect on the way she feels, thinks and expresses her ideas; capturing this emotional feeling with/of a machine and introducing it through questioning the world, herself – the way she feels trapped in these recalled memories, images and sounds. The artist chose two countries she had been to and had intimate memories of: Italy, where she lived for six months at Villa Romana in Florence. She felt at home there and developed her artistic research. And France, where she did her first video workshop and had lots of personal experiences with different places. A year later she returned to the same place. This made her memory combine both the present and past- like a false wakening, and made her question the cultural diversity of societies and investigate what humanity means to her. She took tours around the city of Aix-en-Provence deciding on certain places related to her ideas, while side-by-side working on the text. The moments of silence, the colourful images, the model representing herself and every detail is so personal that it deeply communicates with the viewer in one way or another.