"Terrains", Invitation Card, May 2004
An experimental exhibition of stories told by hands

18 May – 22 July 2004

One year in preparation, this exhibition is the latest in a recent shift by the Darat towards contemporary art, utilizing multimedia technology. 

"Terrains" offers the visitors the opportunity to experience the lives of young people through the eyes and ears of the three Artists:

  • Alma Khasawneh, painter: studied environmental studies at the University of Michigan. She has always done some art using various media. Her art is a space for story telling and self expression of the personal and the collective.
  • Ala' Diab, sound: studied architecture at the University of Jordan. Ala' has been working for 12 years on various musical/sound projects; his work is an intersection of the visual, oral and cultural.
  • Yazan Doughan, photographer: studied architecture at the University of Jordan. He is interested in the role of the visual in the construction of cultural identity, and building narratives through the arrangement of still frames.

The general concept of "Terrains" was, says Alma: "that every individual is unique and has a story to be told. This story is told through their hands' gestures and shapes. We take a snapshot of that and project our own images and texts over it. So the final outcome would be the culmination of the verbal and visual interaction between the artist and the participants."

There were 15 participants who are acquaintances of the artists'. Their interest and participation in this project are at the core of its message of Collective Art. Ala' adds; "It was a humbling experience for us to step back and let our friends 'be the art.' It gave us the chance to interact with them on a totally different level; to put them under certain conditions with certain people whom they meet for the first time and watch them react to that. Midway we had to alter our methodology to focus deeper on specific topics and engage everybody in the conversation, it's easy to get lost during a chat, while having fun!"

The exhibition is also an intersection of art, documentation and anthropological research, as Yazan further explains: "This project's basic idea came after conducting an experiment of hand painting and photography at Alma's house. We decided to expand that concept to cover new grounds and new meanings, using audio and moving image to evoke different feelings and mental associations. So we had to break the Project into phases in order to be able to reach our artistic goals, exactly like any other "non-artistic" project."

"We hope that this exhibition would shed some belated light on the lives of young people living in Jordan: their anger, anguish, joy, and hope. And tell people that there's more to them than meets the eye, if it's only through their hands!" As the artists concluded with a smirk. The exhibition runs until the 22nd of July. It's been achieved through the support and funding of the Khalid Shoman Foundation- Darat al Funun.