Watching Axis Of Light is a wonderful journey across borders and histories into the work of eight eminent artists all closely attached to the Middle East and North Africa. From Jannane Al Ani's beautiful yet haunting marked landscapes to Ayman Baalbaki's large scale paintings of war affected buildings to the wonderful shots of Mona Saudi lovingly watering her stone sculptures or Rachid Koraïchi's true homage to years of human mark making, one is gently transported between history, politics and poetry. The histories unfolding are marked by war and exile yet as Baalbaki serenely expresses it ' It is difficult to put into words but nonetheless [war/destruction] is something which becomes very natural, it makes up a part of your life'. Throughout the film nothing is turned sensational -Shirin Neshat speaks of conflicting forces in her work, Mona Hatoum positively refers to 'identities in flux' and Etel Adnan talks of a close by age when 'the country will be the computer' while Youssef Nabil goes from exile to paradise. The works are beautifully filmed and the artists have been subtly directed as to express themselves generously, giving accounts that seem a perfect balance between personal and universal. Axis of Light has drawn a truly wonderful portrait of artists.
Saeb Eigner - Author of Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran