Sona Safaei: Aleph, 2009. Video, 2:35 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS.
The artist states, “Thinking a lot about Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), I realized that one of the things it is about is minimizing the subject, indicating that the removal of one subject can allow for the appearance of another. Vincent Katz’s Aleph, no. 1, is the unthinkable life death, abstract principle of all that is and all that is not. Carlo Suares’s Aleph is the first letter of Hebrew, Arabic, and Farsi alphabet. It is believed to be the symbol of spiritual root of all harmony, beginning of life and thought. Aleph is an implication to an abstract and dysfunctional alphabet, which never gets the chance to appear on the paper, and demolishes from the very beginning of its content. The performative act of erasing amplifies Aleph with a paradoxical characteristic of creation and destruction. There is mourning for the deceased where at the same time is delighting for the newborn. In this piece, I am destructing Aleph, my handwriting, my drawing, and my art in an attempt to recreate. Repeatedly erasing the known and making a path through the unknown, with an awareness of being under the gaze of remnants, I name it Aleph, the beginning and the end.”