Is a Syrian artist living in Germany.
“Small talk” is a project that I have started during the COVID-19 pandemic, where I’ve reached out to my family members, my friends, or suggested friends of friends, and then having an individual video call with each of them.
The video calls are seen as one-to-one performances, where I get in touch with people, talking with them, and react their thoughts and feelings that they express while they’re talking on the paper, so they can see the process during the call.
Such conversations are more like small talk than an interview, where I try to make them feel at ease and encourage them to speak up about their thoughts by guiding the conversation by asking some questions, i,e: Describe the place you are sitting in, the colours you see, what odours you smell?
Describe the feeling of your body? What are you feeling at the moment? What
is fear in your opinion? etc.
When the lockdown was over, I have repeated the same performance but this time physically not virtually. I used a glass room at the UDK to make the performance, where I have invited the visitors to get inside one by one and
have a “small talk” with them. The people from outside the room can see the performance while happening,
but at the same time, they don’t really know what is it about until they entre.
Having more time to sit with ourselves due to social distancing and quarantine made us think and/or re-think on many thoughts that we never had the time, the real chance, or maybe the courage to pay attention to. This fact has a lot to do with the effects of the pandemic on us, and consequently on the world.
Photo: Khaldoun Freijat