“When you’re born, you’re irrelevant. Then you spend all of your life to become relevant. Then you die!”
Saleh Ashkanani (°1987, Mishref, Kuwait) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By questioning the concept of movement, Ashkanani finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humour that echoes our own vulnerabilities. The artist also considers movement as a metaphor for the ever-seeking man who experiences a continuous loss.
His artworks isolate the movements of humans and/or objects. By doing so, new sequences are created which reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and sound. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, his works references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.
His works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. With a conceptual approach, he tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work.
His works directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context.