Land of Darkness (Al-Khidr), 2018

Land of Darkness (Al-Khidr), 55 x 125 cm, handmade egg tempera on wood panel, 2018

"Land of Darkness" is a literary reference to a mythological place that Alexander the Great (Iskandar) encounters with sage Al-Khidr while questing for immortality and the water of life.  As with the Iskandar project, I am contemplating ideas of empire, occupation and religious fervor compounded by archetypal search for self-realization and utopian civilization.

According to the story, not even fire from the seekers' torches could penetrate the darkness; certain vision is only available in total shadow.

What is the role of gravity this land of dissolving illusions? What is a substance, and what is a mirror? Does this archetypal odyssey lead to madness or illumination?

The spilled fruit across the ground is a reference to marketplaces in Iraq and Pakistan after recent suicide bombings.

This work also is haunted by a post-human future and sea-level rise.

(detail)

(detail)