Scenes of tranquil intimacy
Beirut, February 13, 1999
by Helen Khal
The French Cultural Center is showing the work of a young artist, Sara Badr, in her first solo exhibition. It is entitled “Invisible Circle“ and in it she asks “Who am I ? “Where am I going ?” To answer these questions she turns to the conceptual in art and presents us with a combination of images and words expressed through a series of large diptych paintings and an installation.
The paintings are all of women – presumably self-portraits – roughly brushed on canvas with a minimum of color interest and rather non-committal in expression. In each diptych, however, Badr have installed a peep hole through which the spectator can see and read the artist’s private observations on the meaning of life.
One of them, for example, tells us, “In and out, a hazard, then a desire, a movement, an arrest.” Another says : “A timidity ? Not at all! A discretion, or better still, a distinction.”
The installation in a small room, which one enters to find a four-piece composite painting of a crouched nude women hanging on one wall. Another wall contains this statement on the universe, printed in reverse and reflected to the read on the opposite mirrored wall.
“the universe is a box which contains the earth
which is a box which contains the house
which is a box which contains the humankind
which is a box which contains the soul
which is a box which contains the universe”