Dr. Amal Nasr
Abd El-Salam Eid possesses that sort of intuition, which takes him to the core of any stuff
and acquaints him with their unique nature that would not be revealed through words.
Here we agree with Bergson when he precisely defined intuition as a mental sympathy that
brings us to the core of any object to unite with its unique essence.
He always takes us with surprise to his collections, which he picks: Ordinaries, putties, and simple
art crafts, but all of a sudden, they assume new aspects. He is capable of bringing the object out of
its real context, to be an artistic event in itself in a fantastic realm. Thus, he creates a new life, new
shapes for these items. In fact, Eid has voracity to reveal life’s enigma in all its elements. Wherever
he goes, he collects myriads of items; his Atelier became a big gathering place for incompatible
and conflicting objects, as if they would reveal before him the mystery of existence. However, he
discovered that his embarrassment is growing as he proceeds in different pathways. He then came
to know that the artist is not dealing one way with time, but he can swim through back and forth.
The Artist feels time in a different and relative way. His derives are making him keen that he would
not be missed by time. He always tries to engrave and record his days.
Recording all visions and places that the artist has lived with, his selections of certain objects that
carry their fragrance, would enable him maintaining his time’s pulse. That is why the artist is infatuated
with different things. He cannot stop that passion. He has been enthralled by any token track
deserving to evaluated and preserved …every arte crafts in use: old scissors. Obsolete typewriters,
pottery vessels,, bakers tools, broken china dishes, scrap machine parts, textiles, embroidered
table cloth, old handmade carpets, screws, censers, masks, variety of ropes, old empty bottles
cow’s horns, masks, garden trimming tools, photographs,…and many items that successively have
shown up in his artworks.
Eid selects these items with a keen expert’s eye, in any city he would visits, and from Alexandria
streets, and its old alleys…and from scrap’s piles at the flea market. His purchasing frequent jaunts
for all the left offs, and dispensed with items- particularly at “Souk El Gomãh “-are permanent sources
of delight for him. There he enjoys the delectation of discovery. Eid considers that we should
pay respect for the artist‘s mania for artifacts, as is fully aware of their real values. Passion for the
visible is a vital constituent of artistic personality. For the Artist, the outer world’ components are
not confined living nature, but for Eid they lie down within the depth of tiny gravels, and dry seeds,
carrying with them predictions and mysteries of life.
This reminds us of the philosophy of Henry Bergson, when he says: “Our vision for objects is confined
with our sticking to outer reality. Our occupation with the utility side of objects has shrunk and
voided that vision. However, it was a blessed coincidence, which has given rise for a sort of people,
who are less adhering to physical life. These people do not perceive things for their own benefits,
but for the intrinsic value of the thing itself. Thus, they perceive many things more than the others
do. They are born painters, sculptors, or poets”
Adounees, the poet and thinker, shares the same opinion, when he says: “to express something in
plastic art is to present a picture at variance with its visible corporeal existence…artistic sense towards
objects could not be initiated except when there is distance between an object and its direct
real presence. To see objects is not an easy task, as we may think, they are flooded with prior readings
and pictures… in fact they would be full of previous ideas, all set, and accumulated traditions.
A big effort would be required to dispense with those priors, to see the Artwork as if you encounter
for the first time… we have to see with a child ‘s eye without any predetermination or settlings… to
conceive it in its primordial pure condition”.
No doubt that Eid’s concept is one of that sort. He does not see with an ordinary eye. He sees things
as if he is encountering for the first time. In addition, his concept is liberal of practical necessities
that confine our field of sight, encircling us inutility. He is coming upon material, to present it at the
highest degree of its aesthetical manifestation amid a new artistic existence. Thus transferring it
from negligence into a new creative state. He drops all heterogeneity within, assembling in a new
text that carries variety of aesthetic values.
Abd El – Salam Eid accorded nobility upon neglected items, giving an inspiration to acquire a new
life. If he has lent these things and tools similar life as his, he was applying his own thoughts, the dialect
between the self and the other. In a contrast against these theories that consecrate the divide
between the Artist self and artifacts, in view of they hinder his freedom, rather he was able to express through them, that pure artistic
sensitivity, for the sake of only one target…the delight of Art. In such cases, artifacts are becoming an extension for the artist’s hand
and thought. There would be no distinction between the self and the thing, which will be vanished through complex and increasing
relationships, and that would lead to their unity, particularly when the Artist will overcome all contradictions.
Abd El- Salam Eid has lived during his entire career in continuous travel through the realm of things towards the essence of the universe
…a case labelled by Adounees: “the mysticism of Art”