Walid Siti 'Rite of Passage'
March 15 - April 17 2014
Rite of Passage is a body of work inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest literary text known to humanity. The text’s origins have been traced back to an historical king who reigned over the Sumerian city-state of Uruk around 2700 B.C. and is a thought-provoking tale that addresses the basic premises of life.
The story follows Gilgamesh, a powerful, ruthless and restless ruler, as he embarks on a long journey of soul searching and discovery. Demonstrating its universality and timelessness, the text explores the fundamental elements of the human condition such as life, death, love, friendship, nature and wisdom that continue to occupy the human mind today.
Rite of Passage includes a series of works on paper that were produced between 2011 and 2013 and explores various themes within the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Line is integral to these works, intertwining with other visual forms to create oval organicshapes that convey the process of change that characterizes the content of the epic tale.
The journey, as a departure from a familiar place, to a strange space, evokes intense emotions and unsettles Gilgamesh’s mind. Through his wanderings into an uncertain and insecure world, Gilgamesh is transformed and attains new wisdom and understanding of life.
Human existence in the struggle of the 21st century, whether we are modern travellers or immigrant, coming of age or experiencing loss, we are faced with similar challenges and experience an individual rite of passage.
In Rite of Passage, I attempt to interpret and capture the metaphorical content of the Epic of Gilgamesh. In my search for the space and conditions where transformation can happen, these works are a visual form of connection and understanding between the material and the ideal world.