This selection of eleven photographs is part of a much larger series, created in Bahrain and first exhibited there earlier this year. Interface (2014) frames thresholds of various sorts: the meeting of sand and water, desert and town, with evidence everywhere of transition, disruption and disarray. Isolated piles of earth or cliffs of sand close off our entry into these places; the infinite horizon is suggested but seldom revealed. Buildings too are in transit, coming apart or being repaired, their back-story left unexplained. Human presence is never shown but is everywhere implied, in isolated trucks, discarded armchairs and interlacing red-tinged tire tracks. This is a land of in-between.
Taysir Batniji works in many media, including photography and video, sculptural installations and performance works. Text is often central, as in the recent Imperfect Lovers (2013), where two Arabic words in neon, “Revolution” and “Wealth,” are placed side by side. Composed of the same letters, the words seem identical at first, but a change in the emphasis of one letter sets the two words apart, revealing a natural discord. For Batniji, displacement, disappearance, and illusions of many kinds are central, continuing issues.