Fahd's photographs from her series The Chosen (2003-04) each picture
a person cooling off underneath a water sprinkler in the warm sun, in
front of a golden sandstone wall.
Many of the people turn their heads upwards, with arms held out from
the body, eyes closed and mouth open-oriented towards the light as surely
as sunflowers. Fahd's freezing of this movement at its climax creates
a particular intensity: the people seem truly to surrender to the moment
they are in. The isolation of each figure and its shadow within a shallow
space further concentrate the corporeal drama. In resonance with the
redemptive theme suggested by the title, many of the figures in The
Chosen mimic the demeanour of worshipping or ecstatic figures in religious
art. Through a felicitous orchestration of light, Fahd turns their
receptivity to the sensual pleasures of water and sun into a receptivity
to 'divine' light.
These photographs lure us by a kind of magic whereby a simple everyday
act is both just itself and the vehicle for meaning. Different layers
of reality and illusion cohere in images of everyday reality reconstructed
through Fahd's photographic eye. Actual light is turned into metaphorical
light, immobile bodies move our minds. The Chosen appeals to our nostalgia
or idealism, as it gestures towards some form of redemption from the
material world it documents."
Linda Michael, revised excerpt from' Summertime', catalogue essay 2004