Site: Nahj El Maktaa
written by Sarah-Lea Langner, published on 20th August 2022
THE IDEA – Inspiration of photosynthesis
Wafa takes us on a journey to the phenomenon of changing nature.
She shows us the incredible changes through evolution and helps us understand the power of nature that matter changes “From A State to Another”, as the artist addresses this topic.
Her original idea was projecting through light to trigger a transformation of nature, similar to how the energy of sunlight is transformed into chemical energy during photosynthesis. Her goal in doing so was – and continues to be – making the magic of transformation of oxygen visually tangible.
THE ARTWORK – “From A State to Another”
Based on her knowledge of atmospheric environments in architecture and her own relationship with natural phenomena, she created an artificial landscape in the form of a fictional forest.
Her romantic illustration of a forest shows three static environments.
Unlike her recent works, she created the artificial environment using 3D Blender software. Due to the realistic representation of all kinds of vegetation and rocks, you can recognize a lot of familiar things. The atmosphere reflects the peacefulness of a walk in the forest you may have experienced. It seems like an idealized jungle paradise, quiet, almost boring, without a trace of human intervention or human made destruction.
The actual environment of Tunis, place of origin of the artwork, seems rather barren. The vegetation in summer in Tunis is different from what we can see here. Where was the last time you saw this abundance of greenery, can you remember, I ased the artist in one of our conversation at INTERFERENCE Light Art Festival in Tunis?
Is Wafa formulating a desire for more green vegetation here?
What does she find so paradisiacal, what emotions are behind it?
She expresses her fascination with transformation through moving animations of this 3D landscape.
She has combined the unnatural realistic environment with geometric shapes. Greenish paper scraps fly into the sky like flocks of birds. Shadows and waves of sand grains make the environment dissolve and rebuild in eruptions. She lets the scenes break out into small pieces again and again.
In doing so, she deconstructs nature.
She adds the emotion, the invisible, the dreamy, unreal aspect.
In this technique she finds a balance between the visualization of real and abstract forms and the reality and the emotional addition. You can get an idea of the invisible phenomena of transformation in nature, and it can change your view of the decay and decay of nature to the incredibility of reconstruction in nature.
The journey to the wonderland takes you through a supposedly longer period of time in which nature follows its course. Small, invisible changes are scaled and made visible. What emerges is the power and uniqueness of nature, which Wafa here places in confrontation with the digital world through her technical means.
Do we want nature or can we just build it ourselves?
Do we have to face the death of nature through digitalization?
THE LOCATION – Nahj El Maktaa in the Medina of Tunis
The site in the Medina of Tunis makes the beautiful projection come alive in exchange with its rustic appearance of the location at Nahj El Maktaa.
One arrives through long dark alleys to this empty, decaying place where once stood a building now used as a parking lot. Generally not very busy, the square is considered a dangerous area at night. But with the help of the house owners and the good experience with the Interference festival that it has been held in the medina since 2016, it is shaping up to be a pleasant place to be together. The decisive factor is one of three deaf-mute brothers who actively defends the venue and equipment from passing cars and people. Accompanying the event, an offer was made to voluntarily act as a mediator for the artworks.
Wafa’s projection has transformed Nahj El Maktaa into a romantic paradise for three days. The square is darkened and a lush garden appears, adapting to the teaching, silence and inaccessibility of the place. Instead of the discomfort occurs and the feeling of wanting to quickly overcome the square, visitors linger, whether sitting or standing. The bulky edges of the houses bring dimensions to Wafa’s virtual environment, making it still seem real.
The shadows and silhouettes of the surrounding buildings and the existing night light frame the projection environment.
They hide the poor condition of the houses, which are crumbling at one corner and another.
The clash of these two worlds shows the great divide between life and change, rebirth of nature and static urban space that offers space for its own transformation or can be left to nature again.
The nature we find in Nahj El Maktaa is a little green that frames a doorway and a few stars that are overshadowed by the light of the city of Tunis. It seems that the sparks of the eruptions in the projection find themselves as stars in the night sky
Sound designer : Omar Abraham Sediri
FEATURED IMAGE: Karim Ben Halima