Artwork by Tamer Mallak
The world before and after Covid-19: This is what many experts say. We suddenly found ourselves confronting a crisis that affected all the humanity. We have turned out to be scared of one thing. We all are scared of one thing that has forced us to fear each other, possibly more than we fear the virus.
The media began to intensively highlight the pandemic, which increased fear! Tamer Mallak and his family - Yulia his wife, and his three children: Adam and David, the five-year-old twins and Reema, the eight-month-old girl. The family lives in Belarus. This country has not forced quarantine measures. Tamer Mallak kept going to work every day. As the case with all companies, the company faces the risk of closure, contributing to Tamer Mallak’s daily fear and anxiety. Upon returning home, he avoided a kissing his children, because he could be a carrier of the virus. The company he works for as a designer is now producing masks. He used to take photos of masks of different colours and designs produced for marketing purposes. Since there were no people to try masks on, he used to photograph all masks on his own face. Anxiety of the virus and its affects occupied him as a human and an artist. These feelings and events have driven him to carry out several photomontage works on the most important event that united people’s fear and pains. In most of his artworks, he highlighted the role of the media that used to amplify the event. He also tried to express anxiety, fear and concerns.
Tamer Mallak values René Magritte's painting and its charm. He thought in a way to express the most important source of people’s fear, which led them to isolation from each other, as if people are now hiding from each other. He found himself confronting the deep Magritti creature, the Corona virus. When looking at the face, people feel the desire to figure out the identity of the face hiding behind the mask. This is the human depth perspective of the crisis; we are now hiding from each other. This artwork was chosen out of best 100 entries took part in the Arts Saves Humanity Competition on “see-m” platform.
The print is a part of the Through Solidarity, We Survive initiative by CoCulture, Berlin, and is produced a limited edition of ten prints for Oslo World Festival. The art work is presented in Fotogalleriet's webshop as a part of the institution's collaboration with Oslo World Festival.
About the Artist
Tamer Mallak was born on November 1983 in Damascus. He studied for two years (2002-2005) at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus, Department of Oil Painting. He did not complete his study, due to his travel to Belarus to study Cinematography Administration. He studied at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, and he obtained a degree in cinematography.
He participated in many films and documentaries as a director of photography. He taught photography in Damascus, Syria, and Minsk, Belarus. Since 2012, Tamer Mallak has been practising digital art "Photomobilization", photo montage. He held three solo exhibitions in Minsk-Belarus. His artworks received international awards. He addresses political, social, and philosophical issues in his artwork. His artworks are periodically published in the Arab electronic newspapers.