DON’T LOOK WHERE I’M POINTING, 2017.
Performing for the camera, Azab photographs himself within constructed studio environments, presenting as an uncanny self portrait the artist focuses on and raises critical conversation around the subject of self and practice within the process of photography.
‘Don’t look where I’m pointing’ takes a philosophical and phenomenological viewpoint, focusing on interior and exterior experiences of consciousness within process which investigates a dialectic language and relationship between practitioner and practice. The artist further explores the concept of space within a visceral context both in photographs and the subconscious, relating to historical and contemporary practitioners and writers, particularly influenced by fictional writing of Herman Hesse in ‘Siddhartha’ (1922).
The work also highlights a misconception and failure within the medium discussing an alternative way of ‘seeing’ by not observing or looking as seen in this photograph the artist has concealed his face with a dark-cloth, typically used with large format cameras, referring to early and traditional forms of photographic practice. In this image Azab is photographed at the moment of a clutched cable release capturing an unpredicted situation between the camera and ‘the real world’. Significantly, within this action the artist uses the camera to further explore the medium beyond the confines of the physical but simultaneously highlighting a visceral understanding of photographs.
This unique 140 x 160 black and white silver gelatin print, printed and framed by the artist sets a bold presence within the gallery space, transporting the artist in-front of the photograph itself leading the viewer into an alternative psychological space, transcending the visceral process of ‘looking’ and photographic realism. In this we are presented with two coexisting forms of seeing as Azab appears to be looking at the camera but is actually facing away from the viewer forming a dialect between the observer and the observed.