a stretch of land

Graphite on cotton paper, handmade paper from Inula Viscosa, Nettles, natural fiber and found objects Mixed media on paper
Dimensions variable
Commissioned by Beirut Art Center

Pharmakon is a Greek word that describes a polarity inherently present in pharmacological substances. It comes from the idea that a poisonous ingredient can just as easily transform into a medicinal one and vice-versa. This polarity is not physically visible. The work gives visual form to pharmakon present in exchanges with my surroundings.

On my foraging trips, Inula “طيــون” (pronounced as Tayyoun) is a dominant plant in most sites. It is a shrub that is also known as the wound herb due to its healing characteristics. It ’’عشــبة الجــرح“ flourishes best in areas where the soil is heavily degraded. I’ve encountered Inula on the side of the newly excavated road near my parents’ house. I see it in empty parking lots in the city, on the sidewalks next to my studio, and in the various unused plots in Downtown Beirut. The healing conditions of this shrub are juxtaposed with its propensity and inclination to grow in depleted environments.

A Stretch of Land is a visual investigation of the different forms of pharmakon present in my daily surroundings. It traces the materiality of the conditions provided for things to grow, particularly ones which offer us nourishment in return.

The work will be accompanied with regular foraging walks around Jisr el Wati area and a presentation on different forms of Pharmakon.