Posted: Sep 5, 2007
Nader Sadek's 'The Faceless' Joins Islamic Imagery, Death Metal in
Multi-Media Installation at Michael Steinberg Fine Art
New York, NY – Egyptian artist Nader Sadek's multimedia installation 'The Faceless' opens September 6 at Michael Steinberg Fine Art in New York's Chelsea district. Sadek's uniquely installed drawings hyperbolically juxtapose the iconographies of Death Metal and Middle Eastern fundamentalism, which outsiders often associate with darkness, moon worship, and anti-Christian fervor. 'The Faceless' startles the audience into rethinking connections between these two frequently misunderstood and vilified cultures. Sadek invited well-known Death Metal and Arabic musicians Steve Tucker (formerly of Morbid Angel), Trym (Emperor, Zyklon), Alex Skolnick (Testament), and Ralph Santolla (Obituary, formerly of Deicide, formerly of Death), as well as Middle Eastern music legend Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Miles Jay (formerly of Weird Al, Fathy Salama's Orchestra), Liron Peled (of Raquy and the Cavemen) and Raquy Danziger to contribute to "The Faceless."
These musicians worked with Sadek to produce a cacophonous noise experiment moving in and out of independently conceived Death Metal and Arabic music tracks that provide the sonic component to the multi-media installation. Having grown up a Death Metal fan in Egypt, Sadek works from the knowledge that the Egyptian state perceived both Death Metal and religious fundamentalism as threats to its power and legitimacy: Death Metal rebels against religious and political hypocrisy; piety rebels against a bureaucratic, commercialized, and godless world. Through sound, image, and space, 'The Faceless' mingles these cultures in thoughtful, frightening, and uncanny ways.
Says Sadek: "For a while now, I've been interested in exploring what different cultures perceive of as extreme. 'The Faceless' grows out of years of walking the crowded streets of Downtown Cairo dressed as a full-on death metal fan (i.e., long black hair, long-sleeve Morbid Angel/Deicide t-shirts, and an overall grungy look). Then, in a sort of twisted reversal, I decided to walk the streets of New York's Times Square in the black garb of a fully veiled woman. The intense reactions I got in each case confirmed for me the potential of this project. Those experiences inspired me to channel the popular paranoid fantasy in which the fully veiled woman is wrought from a dark death metal world, full of serpents, skulls, demons and dark mountains. I hope that by reflecting back to the audience their paranoid fantasies, which totally oversimplify the reality of Middle Eastern and death metal culture, that my work will get them to question their own prejudices and sense of the extreme."
'The Faceless,' multimedia installation by Nader
Sadek. Michael Steinberg Fine Art, 526 West 26th Street, Suite 215, New York, NY. Sep 6- 25.