Exhibition text for Dana Qaddah solo show
Capture Photography Festival, Vancouver
There are two definitions of the word “roof”: one which translates into an envelope of a building, protecting the place from threatening conditions, the second being the open space that gives onto the outside world from the top of a building. In this exhibition, Dana Qaddah’s work oscillates between these two definitions where their interpretation of the first, helps us understand how we could reach the second both as an attempt to define “l’état” or the state. Looking at the Lebanese state amidst the current socio economic crisis, one could imagine it as a building without a roof where its concierges have destroyed the roof themselves, thus eliminating any possibility of being protected from outer space. It is within this space, the Roof d’état, that Dana’s sculptures exist as they stand strongly despite the fragility of their suspension.
In their process, they use plastic as a material to build abstract devices and it is within these forms that one could see through. To see through these sculptures is to understand the construction of a crisis where plastic is the material with which the economic infrastructure is built. Considering the 450 years that plastic takes to decompose, one thinks of toxicity and how all lives living under this Lebanese roof are now contaminated, including mine.
Dana also relies on video documentation as an attempt to translate the conditions that emerge on this roof and within the realm of the current social landscape. They direct their focus towards large water tanks as they reflect on the water-supply system in Beirut that operates at the frontline of water scarcity as a reality, following an ongoing practice of corruption. Dana’s photographs become self-contained in ways where they portray the passing of time through the shadow that the light creates when touching their sculptures and where the creativity behind their abstraction feels like a suggested survival kit for a time of crisis. Still plastic, the containers are no less than a representation of a roof d’état that contains corruption which circulates as fluidly as water.