On Noise, Sound & Silence

On Noise, Sound and Silence proposes the island as metaphor for the transience of memory, steadily submerged with the passage of time and loss of resolution in the mind. The visual and sculptural elements in this work evoke a poetic voyage through the black box of recollection, that repository of experience, nostalgia and travel that accumulates within oneself during the passage from childhood, into adolescence and adulthood. Like islands sinking into the sea, time threatens with the slow extinction of those defining elements that make up the self. The fragility of the island is the fragility of memory.

On Noise, Sound and Silence is created in two formats: three synchronized screens each with its individual audio track and in a single channel adaptation with a composite audio track. Both formats are accompanied by an installation of sculptural elements. The work addresses water in its different contexts: filmed across different geographic locations and free of any linear narrative, the footage tackles water as a source of life, communication and transportation but also of submersion and obliteration. All identifying elements of time and place have been removed. Instead the viewer is engulfed by water on all sides and encouraged to turn inwards in this highly synthesized personal landscape. The sound of the water mingles with the sounds of motors and fragments of conversation. Other footage is filmed in urban communities nestling on shores, or around bays. These images of bustling societies by the sea are juxtaposed with images of large and silent, bodies of open water, evoking the landscape of their threatened disappearance, both physical and metaphorical.

The island thus becomes a symbol for cultural communities, even nations, marginalized by history and flooded by the force of new ideologies that threaten to erase multiplicity from view. It is personal and ideological space, a repository of those sacred moments that make up the identity of a community, made all the more precious by their gradual disappearance into the sea. As one island surrenders to the threat of fragmentation so new realities and islands are created to replace those that have been forever lost. Even the act of recording cannot stall the passage of time. The old camera, tarnished and partially hidden in sand, reveals how the very act of recording memory is a transient one, destined to disappear with the sinking island.

On Noise, Sound & Silence Project credits

Producers: Anubis Productions Yasmine Allam

Year:         2013

Concept & Camera: Khaled Hafez

Extra Footage: Khaled Ramadan

Editing & Sound: Khaled Hafez

Shooting Locations: Cairo, Hurgada & Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt),
                             Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
                             Anilao, Batangas, (Philippines)
                             Porto Allegre (Brazil)
                             Turin (Italy)
                             Dubai (UAE)
                             Male (Maldives)
                             Venice (Italy)

Bronze Casting: Ahmed Askalany

Design & Printing: Khaled Hafez
                          Ayman Lotfy