- Artist Jayce Salloum
- Title Everything and Nothing and Other Works
- Date 1998-2005
- Medium 5-channel video installation
Jayce Salloum films an intimate conversation with Soha Bechara – an ex-Lebanese Resistance fighter – in her Paris Studio, one year after she had been released from detention in El-Khiam, the notorious torture and interrogation centre in South Lebanon. Bechara, whose image was overexposed and sensationalised by the media, speaks softly into the camera. She does not recount the principles of resistance or the injustices she and her comrades suffered, but speaks, from a personal space, of her experiences, the bonds she formed, and the sensibilities and worldview she cultivated within the strange world of detention.
Salloum avoids asking Bechara questions about torture and politics. He asks her to elaborate, for example, on her memories of the kinds of objects - banal and ordinary to the outside world - that became valuable to the prisoners: soap sculptures, make-shift chess sets composed of olive pits, a rose that found its way into her cell. ‘In spite of it all’, she says hauntingly, ‘the rose remained a rose’.
This video invites a reevaluation of notions of resistance, survival, will, separation, distance and closeness. The overexposed image and body of a surviving resistance fighter speaks gently and directly into the camera. She is juxtaposed against her image. She speaks not of torture, but of the distance between subject and loss, between what is left behind and what remains.