[First name] Alaa [surname] Abu Asad (عَلاء أبو أسعد) is an artist, researcher, and photographer. His practice is centred around developing alternative trajectories in which values of (re)presentation, translation, viewing, reading, and understanding can intersect. Language and plants are main themes in his research–based work, which takes form in writing, film and interactive installations.
Yet “new” ways of weaving the political value of the artwork in non-political affairs – if such things exist – constitute the core of questions about how to approach and (re)present a certain place. How could a field-tour of observing flora be the pretext for addressing landscape, history, and colony planning? And why would studying the influence of invasive species be the trigger of accumulating consequences that provoke thinking about a society and its behavioural economics?
These multilayered concerns on the essence of the artwork, its production, and its politics, stimulate the ways of how Alaa sees things, together with other aesthetical matters of how to juxtapose static photographs with moving images (video), and (written/outspoken) texts. How can these concerns comprehensively convey personal and common experience/s of the individual and the collective, without ignoring actual events and (past) histories that shape memory?