Aniconism as Figurative Urgency (I thnan), 2021
Borrowing from the tradition of Aniconism in Islamic calligraphy, Ben Hamouda uses this ancient strategy of circumvention in Aniconism as Figurative Urgency (2021). Calligraphic brushstrokes that mimic Arabic text yet signify nothing, the iron sculptures are abstract forms that occasionally have the claws and hind legs of animals such as the dog – a creature considered impure, harām, in Islam, but which for the artist possess a strong life energy. Covered in fragrant spices such as cumin, curcuma and curry, the sculptures protect and are protected by their medicinal, ceremonial, culinary and ritualistic properties used for thousands of years.
Photos by Andrea Rossetti.