Concept, Preformance, and music scoring done by the Artist: Mostafa Darwish

  I developed a fear of the dark as well as a nervous habit of biting my fingernails to cope with anxiety and panic triggers caused by a variety of circumstances, such as family issues, environmental and societal difficulties, and premature horror movie exposure. As I grew older, my phobias disappeared, though my habit of nail-biting remained. Now, in my early thirties, what scares me has taken a different form. Rather than the imaginative creations of literature and fictional films, the current events of the world took place instead.


  The video displays the accumulation of fingernail clipping that I have gathered over the course of three years in stop-motion a single nail is added to a white bowl, with one photograph at a time, progressing in time with self-composed music in a naturally lit room. The video was captured in one day from noon until nightfall. As the sunlight fades through the evening and darkness takes over, there is a single artificial light source on the bowl, the nails are trailing like footsteps out and away from the bowl and out of frame. In the final frames, darkness takes over and the viewer sees nothing but pitch black.


  In the video, each music note is with its frame shot of the sequential moving pictures. The composition of the music is made with progressions of notes from very eery chords that can cause unsettling feelings. The music is composed mainly with E and A chords and its derivatives including Major, Minor, Diminished, and so forth. Example of chord and progressions used; Open E, E5(X11), E7Sus2, EDim9..etc.


  The video is both metaphoric and symbolic to my personal expression of my fears and anxiety. Light and time take a major anchor in the visuals of the video along with the accumulation of the nails. When I was younger, when night comes, I despised sleeping in the dark. as I always slept alone in my own bed, a source of light was always above me where I cling to for comfort. The nails in the video resemble an accumulation of years and years of phobia, as it clearly never left me. I used the metaphor of bugs, resembling each nail clipping as an insect, seeking and searching for light. Wherever light is, the bugs will get attracted to. hence comes the title of the video. I am also the music composer, I purposely tried to mimic some sound effects and notes that were used in some 1980’s horror movies. I followed a theoretical logic in the compositions by playing certain dissected chords that when played note by note can trigger the feeling of unease. The idea is to ultimately resemble some of the nostalgic memories I have of what originally initiated my phobias.

All work are property of the Artist

Copyright® Mostafa Darwish



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