Haythem Zakaria


Haythem Zakaria is a Tunisian artist currently living in France. He draws his inspiration as much from Suffi thought as from subversive visual techniques such as the glitch technique, meta-image, or cine process, orienting them towards experimentation with generative devices in real time.

As such he explores processes aiming at augmenting the image by incorporating, grafting or superimposing visual or sound indications, probing the visual creation by working on the proliferation of the image and its regeneration in visual partitions.

Artwork: Anamnesis (2015)

The initiatory vision by Joël-Claude MEFFRE. Translated by Delia Morris

Any image with visionary force implies that it has emerged through a gap in consciousness, like a calm but intense flash whose origins are thrust deep into distant and unimaginable territory. It appears, then, as a revelation that we cannot quite grasp because of its allusive power – it leaves a trace scratched as though with a steel nib on the screen of dreams.

The image – and such is the case here – is supposedly a vision aimed at our gaze alone, but by way of analogy, it can also lead to an aural vision or can even have a taste, a subtle perfume. It is the result of a revelation that would normally depend on our understanding and this is still implicit; though it belongs to the realm of the Hidden, it is now in the Visible through the medium of its expression. That which is Hidden is but the reverse side of a fabric known as the Apparent or the Efficient.

This vision requires a place that will open up and give it shelter, a place on earth from amongst the familiar landscapes across the world; a place offering a space where absence and the space of emptiness are predominant; a place where the spoken word will find itself facing nothing but its own resonance; where any force will come forth undetected and then show itself, thus allowing understanding by seeing. Hence this panoramic fresco depicts a desert stretching away into an almost unbearable distance. The vastness of this deserted land comes up against the strangeness of the horizon crushed beneath a sky of racing clouds.

Three entities are visible here, three identical forces, linked to the same source by the same underlying connections, now lying there motionless above the vast desert. What are they? Dark spaces, manifestations of a hyper-human logos? Each one contains the same concentrate in the same congruency of all the words that make up the body of thinking represented by logos, the memory of the logos in echo of its own reflection in its ruin, any possible future, power, or summons to the spoken word. At the same time each contains the substantial noise of Words in a quivering magma, an impending scrambling. Beyond, a single, transparent thread of explicit word(s) could detach itself and come into the world to fulfil its task of annunciation.

These three forces may also be defined projections of a well Guarded Table specific to the Pleroma of which one aspect suspended mid-air air on the edge of the world can just be glimpsed, there in the middle of a desert that lends itself to a possible post-human parousia.

Haythem Zakaria’s photographic vision renders visible what should only belong to the realm of the Hidden. The three polyhedral forces are only there because they contain a nebula of words compressed into the revelatory powers of an imagined effervescence. And because of this, the image leaves an atmosphere of suspense, expectation, the all-absorbing, deafening presence of an imminence about to explode. It could illustrate what Ibn Arabî has to say of the Hidden and the Absolute: “Ordinary people are utterly mistaken in their belief that the visible world is what can be seen and the Absolute a hidden mystery. In fact, the Absolute is the eternal Apparent which never went into hiding.”

Haythem Zakaria constantly winds and unwinds the thread going from the interiority to the exteriority of Being, for he knows there is no limit to exteriority, it is only the other side of interiority allowing the creative imagination infinite liberty in its every move; and it is through this channel that any initiatory vision ripens, draws its inspiration and finally comes into being for the senses.



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