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Historic Human Hub (Damascus)

Metalpoint (gold, silver, aluminium) and coloured pencil on prepared paper.
44x59 cm (w/h)
For sale

About the work


Canaanites, Phoenicians, Arameans, Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Arabs, Ancient and modern Egyptians, European Crusaders, Persians, European colonists, Lawrence of Arabia, Christian Mongols, Kurds, Alawites, Christians, Muslims, Druze, Jews, Americans, Turks, Russians.

to highlight just one of legions of Damascene rulers: Saladin! he was a Kurd who became sultan of Egypt and Syria, a mighty adversary of the Crusaders but at the same time honoured in medieval Europe as a model of a wise and fair king. (do read the Ringparabel in Lessings Nathan der Weise).

the more i read about this ancient city, the more i felt like Goethe reading the Persian poet Hafis: Wer sich selbst und andre kennt / Wird auch hier erkennen: / Orient und Occident / Sind nicht mehr zu trennen. bearing in mind that my east actually is in the western part of the silk route. i felt like i was reading the history of mankind, not just that of one city.

today, we seem to be more connected worldwide than ever before. on the other hand, we’re still focused on what divides us. and what divides us, has always divided us: the multiplicity that actually defines our species as one.

so this series is not really about Damascus. as a Western artist, my knowledge and perception of this city, its past and culture(s) is a distorted, fragmented and coloured tapestry at best. i hope, some patterns are identifiable nevertheless, of ancient and modern Damascus, of ancient and modern human /being/: an indispensable characteristic chunk of the human mosaic.