Ahmed Kamel - About Paradise / Repetitive Units

Paradise can be that of a wonderful hope, a conditional promise, a necessary alternative,  or it is itself, an illusion. It may represent the dream of justice, the longing to comfort, or is instead, standing against the fear of nothingness. The different perceptions of what may come after death, influences lifestyle through cultural beliefs and teaching.

The film "About Paradise" is composed from several testimonies that have been collected from protagonists coming from Egypt and Germany. These collected interviews are from individuals, who belong to different cultures and narrates their personal views on and about paradise; as well as, those that are culturally stamped in the imagination about the paradise or what might come after death. At the same time, the film shows scenes - in a video collage format - from two pilgrim's journeys (one from Mecca and one from Santiago de Compostela) that I did by myself. These kinds of pilgrimages throughout history and even before the three religions, represent the path to God, they are journies filled with the hope of finding the prize, paradise.

Unidentical "Repetitive Units" are a number of expressive drawings done in a contemplative manner. Expressive drawing is the quick sketching of the artist view,  nothing separating the will and the result, except for the pen and white surface; all the stages of artwork production are reduced. For me, it’s the closest medium to express feelings and thoughts.

It is about futility and repetition, it is about breath and heart, it is about language and understanding, it is about earth movement and landscape, it is about stability and movement, it is about statistics and relations, it is about rhythm and sleep, it is about levels of light and darkness.

Through birth, the soul connects to the body and  separates only at death after a certain time of life and  then is repeated. At the time of death, there are people who sprinkle a little water on the grave to lessen the heat of the soul, while others light candles to give it warmness.

I longed to remember his voice after his death but I could not. Are there any recordings?

Ahmed Kamel "Repetitive Units" drawings

Ahmed Kamel was born in 1981 in Cairo. He studied Photography and Moving Images at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig (Master's degree 2014) and painting at Helwan University in Cairo (BFA 2003). Kamel has had solo and group exhibitions in the Middle East and Europe, including: Contemporary Image Collective (CIC), Cairo; The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; Brandts Museet for Photo Art, Odense; East Wing, Dubai and Folkwang Museum, Essen. Ahmed Kamel lives and works in Cairo and Berlin.


Website of Ahmed Kamel