Revolution (Liberty, Social Equity, Unity)

Khaled Hafez


Video, 00:04:08.

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK007621).

Revolution is a three-screen video presentation wherein Khaled Hafez designates ideology as one of the strongest forms of belief. Both the businessman and the religious fundamentalist are represented here as revolutionaries, in reaction to which a third protagonist, a soldier, kills them. The work functions as a classical triptych with three promises (social equity, liberty, unity) – promises that revolution cannot keep. The soldier represents the promise of bringing about social equality through violence. The middle video image shows a businessman, symbol of the free-market economy. He rhythmically hammers-in nails, an activity referring to oppression. Here ‘liberty’ takes on a sour note, mass consumption is portrayed as a new sort of slavery. The third fragment is about unity. A religious fundamentalist uses a cleaver to behead blond dolls, as symbol of the West. The clothing and actions of this figure refer to fundamentalism, a tendency that allows no room for personal freedom. The various protagonists enter into interaction. Both the image of the Western businessman as well as that of the Islamist gives an obviously black-and-white picture. In this work Hafez handles the relationship between East and West, and shows us the gulf and the similarities between the two in a symbolic way.

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