Today is not the first time I sit at my computer and this is not the first draft I attempt to write.
I realize how challenging it is for me every time to start.
I realize the difficulty to reflect on events before the passage of time, that aids the memory to undergo the natural process of selection.
I think this relationship between reflection and time was one of the key issues I am currently dealing with.
Reflection is often suggested as the main milestone of an artistic process, in a breathless time.
Again and again everyone repeats the question of the political in the arts n general and performance arts in particular. Valuable or not, I might try to think of our own work out loud in those terms.
Lately someone puzzled me with the question if my work contains a message or a question. This turned out to be a challenge, as not everyone agrees on what is a question and what is a statement. And what one audience member reads as a statement another can easily read as a question.
I recognized that it is important to find out, under which circumstances we can consider an artistic expression as a statement or to read it as a question and be aware of the reasons and the difference of contexts.
Can’t a question in itself under certain circumstances support a fascistic ruling system more than a statement?
Can’t a statement provoke more questions than questions themselves in a context that is weary and of the language of questions?
In being confronted with some people's definition about good art, activist art and even political activism, I realized my own inability to discuss coldly, seeing how it is still part of my everyday existence in such a time of urgent uncertainty in Egypt, where everything is a question.
I also think this is a time and a chance to redefine activism in its broad sense worldwide, especially with the bankruptcy of most existing political ideologies, if not all of them.
I always believe in the constant flux of thoughts, but also especially at such turbulent times, in my context at least.
Having said that, I will now put down the questions that am currently thinking of:
Why is it that I do what I do?
Why do I still find the present moment important even if I know that it is impossible to capture?
How can an artist stay true to his process at times of urgencies without imagining that he cannot separate his intellect from his physical experience before the passage of time?
Is the importance of depth of thought not an illusion if it impedes the process of making?
Why do I still hold on to trying to separate the fictions from the real within such a time of constructs?
What is the documentary? (The lines between fiction and reality were clarified to be blurry in any form of representation.)
Why does my inner censor not embrace the challenges of representation? “If one claims not to represent one has to question why.”
What is art today? Is it art when it is contextualised as art by the artist himself within an institutional frame?
And how do the contextualisation and the frame affect each other?
Who is absent? And what is his/her/its power?
(This question becomes critical at a time when almost all is present and accessible in the different medias.)
Is the present tense the trap of performance? (However, I think all agree that the present moment is impossible to capture.)
And I guess my list of questions could be endless, so I will end here and embrace a new day as an ant amongst other ants on the streets of Cairo.