"I do not offer answers"

- "but I would like to ask the right questions", Sara Qaed, a young cartoonist of Bahrain stated in an interview for Canvas at this year's Arab Cartoon Festival in Belgium.

Sara Qaed, What you usually do with all that is said, April 19, 2016.

Sara Qaed poses her questions in her cartoons with a strong line, which has no time for small talk nor indeed lies. She takes her subjects to their very bone structure to uncover their truth value.

Words are more often than not noise in our societies and just as often they are used as a cover to betray away our attention. The higher the noise, the more can be hidden within and the one tugging and striving against the multitude of speech bubbles need as much of the picture plane as possible to find the strength needed.

Sara Qaed, Series, March 8, 2017.
His lone figure is the visual counterpart to the line of silencers. Each time a voice is silenced a pattern emerges and multiplies. The final one to the left is the only one recognizable for a human form.

The rest are rounded lines, connected beyond infinity, impossible to say where they come from and why. Which is ultimately not even of relevance. The pattern has taken on a life on its own, keeping each section of the chain in check.

Sara Qaed, Human Meal Rotation, March 13, 2017,
Such a pattern is indeed mute, as Siegfried Kracauer specified with such precision in 1927 on the mass ornament. Ornaments made up of a number of bodies, performing in the same act to visualize an idea.

To this end they have turned themselves into a passive material, a tool - I am still paraphrasing Kracauer - incapable of extending into other directions beyond the one designated to them.

Sara Qaed, Re-cycling, March 6, 2017.

Sara Qaed, From his system, March 6, 2017.

Visibility is a core instrument to the power play that is ornamentation. Fresh material must constantly be lured in to keep it evolving while each new component makes it even harder to detect the elements therein. The latter are busy in their passive pursuit to do their duty; eating while being eaten, at the same time as the despot is affirming the symbol of eternal repetition.

Art as an act of violence. A lineup onto graph paper to rid the individual beings of what perfection deems superfluous:

Sara Qaed, Equal 2 cm., September 24, 2017.

Sara Qaed, Black Squares, August 1, 2017.
With the beheaded we are back to the noise of speech, this time the spoken word of which no second meaning are permitted yet constructed as a means to disguise that very fact.

By making her own field the battleground of despots using the seductiveness of the interlacing line, Sara Qaed is proving her strength. She is denuding her artistic voice of any embellishment, which might act as an excuse for creating distraction.

Sara Qaed, Bottleneck, August 22, 2017
Imperfection is one such way of intelligent life, fighting to find a way to freedom, and disclosed to us through transparency. Just as we were not meant to see the women being traded, trapped as they are from poverty and being under age.

Sara Qaed, The Store Selling Women - Syria/Lebanon, April 7, 2016.

The insistence of power to disguise itself continues all the way into the halls of obvious power.

This is a map otherwise unseen of the states in the Gulf, the potentates each carving and eating off each other:

Sara Qaed, The Gulf Cutting Their Relationships, June 6, 2017.

Sara Qaed, Book Reading, April 8, 2015.
To the clarity of the line, Sara Qaed adds another layer: Her tiny strokes and dots in succession close to each other.

They are serving as a visual language in itself on the physical movement or mental reaction of fear, anger or despair of the human in question.

In unison with the larger frame, she creates a facetted analysis in which she each time takes us beneath the surface.

We even get to see the beaming of those actively informing themselves to walk on in life. Or we get to meet the one, who is repeated called a LOSER. He too suddenly reaches out to grab a hold of a poisonous speech bubble to transform it into a means to building wings and a new life ahead.

His own speech bubble is a song. 

Sara Qaed, Loser Can Fly, October 14, 2016.

The cartoons shown are courtesy of Sara Qaed and must not be reproduced without her permission.

Popular posts