First commissioned for ATHR Gallery’s Young Saudi Artists show in 2019, #INFINITESINCE83 (2023) by Mohammed Hammad is a film presented in an enclosed space designed to evoke feelings of intimacy as the film is narrated by the artist’s mother.
The audience is taken on an intimate journey through the film, following the artist as he leaves Saudi Arabia to travel and live abroad, before returning to the country almost 30 years later. It collages family photos, travel footage and voice messages from his mother, reminding him not to forget his heritage and asking him to return home. The narrative explores the competing factors which shape identity and beliefs – patriotism, religion, family, fitting-in, taboo – facing young Saudis who travel abroad, and the baggage that always travels with someone when they leave their home. It is also a love story between mother and son.
Making use of rapid moving image in combination with an atmospheric and hypnotic soundtrack, Hammad creates an absorbing and emotionally affecting experience, amplified by the installation’s intimate setting.