Ahlam Shibli, 1999
Description of a personal voyage in nine volumes that are visual documentation based on looking again and again to Wadi Saleib - the place and the time. "Wadi Saleib" - the neighbourhood in which its heart is empty of people, its Houses were emptied of their occupants - is occupied by ghosts.
The ruins looked to me like witnesses to human and intimate occurrences. Ordinary events for some of us, became to others key, clues to break a code. I have seen, retraced, and perpetuated the past in the present. l brought light into dark spaces so that they were put into focus and turned into stage.
I scattered light so that the heros wake up from their sleep. A printing machine, open suitcase, a shopping bag, writing desk, shoe, light blue on green paint or peeling yellow on the wall, lost things that were thrown away - hinted on a deserting Situation, the last moment of action of body movement, the touch and use of them. These things received new life and their souls were restored.
Watching again, going over the area, I catch with my eyes objects and things and bring back from my memories, richer periods into detail that I have been through in my life.
My memories expose the possibilities to memorize the others. I see in front of me the fantasized memories of the dwellers of the place, memories that contain those objects which I photograph.
In those memories, I staged and placed people in the present that create a story with the Inspiration of the place.
Photographs that are an awareness of memory, based on the resident« of the place. the place itself; its being and its special smells.
The volumes develope with the birth of story out of a printing machine, thrown out in an abandoned house. They considers love, touches, hair being tressed, coming in and out, breakup.. throughout a constant exit between reality and fantasy.
The ending of the stories is marked by a symbolic death that is born from an actual death.
Wadi Saleib in Nine Volumes: