The Complete Uncredited Works
This body of work deals with writings and poems that exist on the margins of canonical Arabic literature. Poetry that describes the architecture and spatiality of old monuments was a key form of Abbasid poetic tradition, as language was considered an evocative and powerful mode of recording and representing physical spaces for posterity. The slippage between word and image in such poems is mirrored in the imperfect preservation of historic texts. Many such poems exist now only through the footnotes of other documents, referenced but uncredited, republished in part, or lost forever to the endless fragmentation of sources in libraries and within manuscripts.
This series explores the implications raised by such poems, and the idea of uncredited literature. Untethered from their writers and eras, such poems are vulnerable to anthologists eager to accord authorship. Addressing the speculative, partial nature of historiography, the series engages with that which exists outside of the historical canon, which constitutes its negative space. Working with writing, fiction, sculpture, graphic design and installation, the works examine our understanding of literature, of sources, of originality, of authorship, and how histories are written.