About the Artist:
Pascal Zoghbi is a Lebanese artist based in Beiruit. He specialises in Arabic typography creating various fonts for print. Zoghbi designs his typography with the intent of creating fonts that are not, for lack of a better term, spin-offs of ones that have already been seen time and time again, yet remains true to the traditions of Arabic calligraphy. One might think that such constraints may limit ones ability to create something new. However, I believe, Zoghbi has proven that one may take a very different road to creativity due to such restrictions.
Web Site: www.29lt.com
About the Piece:
The piece consists of several printed sheets of paper juxtaposed haphazardly to create a collage of several typographical styles that Zoghbi has created. All 29 letters of the Arabic alphabet in all their forms, as well as the numbers 0 – 9 are represented in the piece. The printed sheets cover the allocated wall space from floor to ceiling with some running through the alphabet while others displayed enlarged forms of a single letter and still others running a repetitive quote of Gibran Khalil Gibran.
What it means to me:
The first thing that caught my attention when it came to this piece was the sheer scale of the collage itself as it took over the side of the wall where it was displayed. Having said that though, what made me look twice was the repetition of Khalil Gibran’s quote. Hidden within the random typography displayed in the piece lay a moving quote (seen here) that seemed to blend into the rest of the display. Only viewers who are able to read and understand the text are able to engage in a very different layer of conversation which this piece provokes.
The quote is from his book titled “Spirits, Rebellious”. It translates to:
“They have exiled me now from their society and I am pleased, because humanity does not exile except the one whose noble spirit rebels against despotism and oppression. He who does not prefer exile to slavery is not free by any measure of freedom, truth and duty.”