An immersive sensory narrative spatially woven of architecture, performance and installation.
This universe is changed and renewed unceasingly at every moment and every breath. Every instant one universe is annihilated and another resembling it takes its place . . . In consequence of this rapid succession, the spectator is deceived into the belief that the universe is a permanent existence . . . Thus it never happens that the very being is revealed for two successive moments under the guise of the same phenomena.”
— Arab Jaimi, 15th century

Space Is Not Empty

2005

A dance theatre performance exploring movement in Islamic calligraphy. Inspired by various styles of Islamic calligraphy and their unique visual rhythms, choreography, sound and video projections combine to create distinct temporal spaces which tell the story of a writer and a muse. The piece explores the limitations of language and the visible world as well as intercultural misunderstandings, through the quest of trying to capture the movement of the body. The piece was performed a few days after the July 7th terrorist attacks in London.

In the story, the (abstract) artistically-interpreted historical progression of Arabic scripts through time, from "static" (i.e. Kufic) to "dynamic" (cursive) and back to static, unfolds through the (concrete) narrative of a writer trying in vain to capture the essence of movement.

[Read more]

Location: Cochrane Theatre, London, UK

Scenoworks Festival

Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design Final MA Scenography project

Performed by: Elena Martin, Gabriel Reig

Sound design: Anand Gary

Script, Design, Direction

3 min trailer

 
2D plane capturing words as static text vs. 3D space "full of" dynamic words 

2D plane capturing words as static text vs. 3D space "full of" dynamic words 

Early Arabic writing in Kufic script, evoking visual rhythm reminiscent of musical notation

Early Arabic writing in Kufic script, evoking visual rhythm reminiscent of musical notation

 
Joy, happiness, peace, anxiety and social violence are assimilated and expressed in the art of calligraphy. Through its capacity to absorb emotions and to revitalize them, it becomes a universal language, even though it is based on the Arabic alphabet and is therefore indecipherable for many . . .
— Hassan Massoudy