Installation Mixed Media, Bezalel Academy of Art, Jerusalem, 2013
This work attempts to expand understandings of the act of photography and reconstruct its contents. This is done through the display of a single image against a sketchbook on a table with Eddie Adams's 'Execution' photograph from 1968 on display and text.
Alaa presents the act of photography as unethical. Thus we see he does not shoot his mother directly with his camera but instead captures the reflected image on the LCD screen of her sitting on a sofa.
The work poses questions about the essence of the photograph. Does it exist objectively as a physical entity outside of the subject, in accordance with the photographer's location and the surrounding circumstances?
What if the colonised has a camera in the hand the same way as the coloniser does, and s/he, the colonised, has a chance of using that camera while standing in front of his/her coloniser? Is the perspective the colonised chooses in order to photograph his/her coloniser the same as the coloniser's perspective when s/he often photographs the colonised? Does the aim behind the photographing act performed by the colonised sit equally with the coloniser's act? And so, is the location where the colonised chooses to stand when s/he decides to photograph his/her coloniser the same location as the coloniser's? Will the colonised photograph his/her coloniser, ever, anyway?