And I, will I forget?
Sabrina Amrani is pleased to present the first solo show in Spain by Manal AlDowayan. The exhibition And I, Will I Forget? displays a selection of works from an eponymous series that delves into the transience of memory and the act of reappropriating narratives. The silkscreens on board, canvas, paper, aluminium and copper plates are inspired by her father’s journey from Saudi Arabia to the USA in the 1960s-1970s.
An expansion of her former works, And I, Will I Forget? invites the viewer to explore the mechanisms of memory and the means to counter erasure and disappearance. These themes are dear to AlDowayan, whose practice is marked by an eagerness to create pieces about formless and invisible phenomena: oblivion and its opposite, remembering.
When she was 12, her father gave her a tin box containing 1,000 Kodachrome slides that he had taken between 1962 –leaving Saudi Arabia to the USA– and 1973 when his daughter was born. He documented his new environment for his family and reciprocally took pictures of Saudi girls and boys dressed in their best attire to keep with him and share with his friends in the USA. For his daughter, they were simple toys she would play with and classify. At 19, understanding the images were an attempt to bridge the gap of a radical disconnection from home, AlDowayan faced silence. Her father had started to deteriorate into Alzheimer and was not able to answer her questions. It became impossible to decipher the locations and identify the protagonists. Were the images developed at some point? The prints never survived. The slides remained as custodians of an enigmatic memory with no recorded history.