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The Upside Space: An Inch Thick
Overview + NFTs
With some works dating back more than 5000 years, portraiture is arguably one of the oldest forms of art. Artists across millennia have attempted to capture the image of their sitters by recreating their facial features and expressions while always trying to somehow capture their inner essence. But is this ever possible? No matter how lifelike it may be, can this simulation reflect what lies beneath the surface?
This exhibition is a collection of contemporary portraits that dive into deep waters of consciousness and look underneath the layers that we all show the world.
The show's name is derived from one of the most well-known Shakespearean scenes, in which Hamlet visits a cemetery and takes his dear friend Yorick's skull. In musing upon inevitability of death and how, in the end, we all end up dust and bones, Hamlet makes a reference to his drowned lover, Ophelia. He says to Yorick's skull: " Now get you to my lady's chamber and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come." At this moment Hamlet realises the futility and falseness of painted-on beauty, as even the most beautiful woman has died and left only a skull.
This expression, An Inch Thick, exists as framework to comment on the many masks that we wear in front of the world, like facial make-up, cosmetic surgery, fake personality, or the guise of social expectations. It asks the audience to think about the brevity of life and the blindness we adopt when confronted with reality of our own mortality. If we live as if we never die, perhaps we miss the beauty of life itself.
Warsha: The Taste of Sky
Overview + NFTs
'Warsha' is a short 16-minute film that won Best International Short Film: Fiction at Sundance Film Festival, 2022. The film tells the story of Mohammad, a Syrian migrant working in a construction site in Beirut. One day, he volunteers to operate one of the tallest, most notoriously dangerous cranes in Lebanon. Suddenly free from the oppressive city below, he finds space to unleash his true self.
The NFT collection, The Taste of Sky is curated by MORROW collective. The title is derived from the Leonardo Da Vinci quote: “once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up” and the collection is a tribute to all those searching for genuine and honest freedom of expression, wherever and whoever they are.
Working in collaboration with Oxfam, proceeds from Warsha NFTs will go towards funding for the short film on its journey to the Academy Awards 2023 as well as relevant marginalized communities.