The Water, Moatz Nasr 2002

The Water, 2002
Single-channel video projection, 5 min

Time is closely tied to personal identity in this study of self and circumstance. Individuality is recast by time as the faces of Egyptian men, women, and children are briefly reflected in a puddle before a boot relentlessly stomps into the water, distorting, fragmenting, and transforming the images. Does this suggest that we are all in flux and that our circumstances are greater than our individual capacities to assert stable senses of self? Is the fragility of human time trampled by the forces of political time? Or do the quivering, shimmering faces that we see in Moataz’s work represent a looking glass  that mediates and transcends time?moataznasr-water-press-2

A video is projected in a dark room. The floor is isolated and turned into a pond of water. The video shows different portraits relected onto a puddle. The constantly moving nature of water makes the image unstable, showing the insecurity of human beings. Nevertheless, as soon as the image seems to stablize, it is broken by an unknown foot brutally stepping over the face. The viewer who enters the room steps on the water, where his own face and the faces of the other viewers are reflected, thus repeating the action of the video.

Seen at LACMA (David), Courtesy Galleria Continua, Italy