Anisa Ashkar is an interdisciplinary artist engaged in issues relating to identity, social critique, and gender. Through painting, photography, performance and installation, she creates a fantastic, dream-like world, directly connected to changes in the socio-political atmosphere, that serve as an opportunity to initiate discussions about society and culture.
For over two decades, Ashkar has been using her own face as a canvas, writing a daily sentence on her face in Arab calligraphy, visible to all, but not understood by all. This artistic practice encourages viewers to engage in conversation with her and learn about diversity, her biography and Arab – Palestinian identity.
Ashkar explores various political issues using the symbolic meanings of texts and readymade materials, as a way to explore and react to art history, biographical memories, socio-political agenda and current affairs.
The series ‘Agria Matia’ was created in 2006 and first exhibited in 2007 in Athens. Greece. It was born out of Ashkar’s research on Medusa Gorgona, the mythological heroine, that was the inspiration for the artist’s performance ‘In a twinkle of an eye’. The ancient Greek name Agria Matia means “Wild Eyes”. The text written on Ashkar’s face reads:
“لقد حان الموعد اني اتية لقريبا فان النوم والموت واحد”
“It is time to come, I, who is coming soon. The sleep and the death are one”
According to Ashkar it is a poetic representation of her Medusa.
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