Across the yard at SCA there’s a show on in two rooms by a bloke named Fassih Keiso.
In Room One was a bunch of stuff – some photographs of Arabic children with Arabic text, a series of framed Arabic tile works, a piece at one end of the room that had some post cards and stamps and “is a reflection on attitudes of prejudice in the West against Muslims and Arabs” and two video monitors. One the first monitor was a DVD of some people in a park in New York talking bollocks – just random chit chat phrases edited together so the speech became a staccato barrage of social intercourse.
On the other video monitor was a vignette circle in a black frame – kind of like looking through a telescope – and that was bollocks too; a video of a man’s testicles and they were reacting to the wind. As the wind blew cold, the testicles rose up in the scrotum. As the wind dropped, the testicles dropped slightly. Oh, we should also mention that the scrotum was lightly covered in grey and black pubic hair. The work was called The Breeze and we have to admit, it was incredibly difficult to look at.The Art Life hurriedly left the room while trying to keep our legs crossed.
We went into Room Two trying to put what we had just seen from our minds when we saw what at first thought was a wax dummy of a man standing against a big circular screen onto which some video stuff was being projected, but after a moment of letting our eyes adjust to the light, we realised that the dummy was in fact the artist having his portrait taken by a woman on the other side of the room. Because of the low light, it was time exposure and he had to stand very still. We looked at his head and noticed that it was covered in grey and black hair. We had to leave immediately.
The SCA is located in an old mental hospital and has many features one associates with a prison or a secure facility – stone buildings, wide gardens and a long, long run to the main road. We hurried away half expecting the guards in the towers would open up with machine guns…