Single channel, Colour, Sound, HD Video
Nothing Escapes My Eyes (2014) is about a silent transformation of a place and a human being, both subjected to the melancholy of conforming. Inspired by the texts of Edward W. Said, the poems of Mahmoud Darwish and Verdi’s Aida, the film depicts in a metaphoric form current issues of globalization, cultural identity, gender politics and the remonstration of our understanding of progress. Aida premiered in Cairo in 1871 at the “Khedivial Opera House”. One hundred years later the building was destroyed by fire and replaced by a multi storied parking garage. Nevertheless, to this day, the place is still named Opera Square: Meidan El Opera. The film combines this urban alteration with the painful transformation of a woman shedding one identity for another, backed by a musical excerpt from Aida whose lyrics express the difficulties of being loyal to one’s country and cultural identity.
While the cinematic narrative refers to the destroyed opera house replaced by a parking garage, the film relates to the historical wounds of a country that, through French and British colonialism, underwent a rash modernization and secularization, creating a deep cultural disorientation.
The highly artificial art form of opera that „frames“ this film, underlines the questioning of identity as being itself a mere cultural construction.
Aida becomes an example of the Western’s colonialist gaze, a nostalgic exoticism of the Orient, which remains alive to this day. Aida displaced in a parking garage is a symbol of diaspora, of repression, alienation and identity loss, themes that are so current in today‘s globalized society.