Ayyam Gallery Damascus will proudly present “Trance” the solo exhibition of Syrian photographer Nassouh Zaghlouleh. Coinciding with Ammar Al Beik’s “Oil Leaks,” which will be shown in an opposite part of the gallery, “Trance” will feature several new works by the midcareer artist.


As nude dancers appear stretched to the point of distortion, Zaghlouleh has used traditional black and white photography that is then scanned and reworked as their lean bodies become points of virtual abstraction. The flesh, limbs and torsos of these anonymous models serve as defining elements of the composition. In some instances they are rendered as thin white lines that divide the composition along a central axis. Other photographs show their forms in mid-dance, in various positions as they have the appearance of wavelengths, adding a sense of movement while suggesting the presence of sound.


Color is infused as moments of light that radiate in between Zaghlouleh’s dancers as though reflecting their intrinsic energy. The title of the exhibition suggests a state of otherworldliness, one that is built up in stages, as the body and mind are pushed to their limits and the eventual submission into an altered state occurs. With each successive image, the body becomes reduced in its visibility, so that in a final work it is barely discernable, existing as a fine, silhouetted line, one that is overpowered by darkness.  ---


Born in Damascus, Syria in 1958, Nassouh Zaghlouleh received a graduate degree in Photographic Communication from L’école Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1987 and later taught at the city’s International Institute for Image and Sound. Having spent decades in the field, Zaghlouleh has assisted with the filming of 20 documentary films and has taken more than 80,000 photographs. Yet his images were only shown to the public for the first time in 2007, when he presented over two-dozen photographs in “From Paris to Damascus,” a solo exhibition at Ayyam Gallery Damascus. Since then he has received substantial exposure through a number of events including the Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair and the two exhibitions “Dialogues with the East” both in Barcelona and Seville in Spain 2010. With such a substantial portfolio he is one of the Middle East’s most accomplished photographers.