‘Middle E’ is a series of screen-printed works by Oded Ezer of an ‘e’ that has absorbed the spirit of the (now) beaten and murderous Middle East.
Commissioned by the Letterspace Project and curated by Lucy Biggs, the project includes an alphabet inspired by the space and location of chosen 26 international designers (Among them Paula Scher, Tony Brook, Marian Bantjes and more).
Ezer chose the letter ‘E’, which starts the word East, in itself a means of geopolitical cataloging. What began as a personal utterance quickly became a reflection of a place, a loosely-defined, amorphous, almost borderless geographical region. A place that brings up contradictory, paradoxical feelings of strangeness and intimacy.
The ‘E’ is not (just) a letter; it is an entity, a mood, it is a sponge that has absorbed the spirit of the times. It is the soul of the Middle East, frozen at a particular moment. It is Ezer’s Middle East, of his ancestors, of his family. But now it is battered, burnt, beaten, disintegrated, suspecting, hating, murderous. Hell is only a few hours’ drive away. Iran and Turkey, what remains of Iraq and what remains of Syria, Kurds, the Islamic State and Hezbollah, Shiites, Sunnites, Alawites, Kurds, Christians and Druze all act in a burning tragedy.
Ezer started by printing the letter ‘E’ in Times New Roman, a ‘functioning’ and ‘intact’ form, only to crease the paper, damage and cripple it. In its new battered state, the letter was photographed from several angles to retain as much visual information as possible. By digitally layering the several images, one complex symbol was created. This final image was screen printed in black and white with the addition of blood-like texture and color on white paper.
The poster performs as an abstract of the general concept: dissonance that represents jarring sounds; the torn oud string of the Middle East today. The ‘E’ becomes connected to its place – the place where geography and typography collide powerfully.
The project will be displayed this April at the Whitworth Gallery and throughout Manchester city center.
© 2018 by Oded Ezer
The ‘E’ is not (just) a letter; it is an entity, a mood, it is a sponge that has absorbed the spirit of the times
What began as a personal utterance quickly became a reflection of a place, a loosely-defined, almost borderless geographical region
The ‘E’ becomes connected to its place – the place where geography and typography collide powerfully