Islam Aly

Statera, Mizan
2020, Edition of 30 variants, and five proofs.
Closed: 3.5 x 3.5 x 2.75; legal ledger paper from the late 1800s and 1900s, museum board,
hand-printed Arabic letters from magnesium plates, laser-engraved wooden boards, book cloth,
stiff-leaf binding with leather wrappings connected to laser engraved camel bone pieces. Signed,
numbered, and dated by the artist.
"Statera" explores the rhombic dot system behind the Naskh script, from the verb nasakha, 'to copy,' a small, round script commonly used to write administrative documents and transcribe books.

In Arabic, this system is called "Mizan Al Horof"; (balance of letters). "Statera" shows each letter's specific structure, which is built of a significant rule: the number of dots. The 28 letters are printed in Thuluth script with vibrant red color, over regular handwritten text by ordinary people. Different styles,
signatures, seals, notes, and markings from legal ledger paper contrast with the Thuluth script
rules. This contrast reveals an engaging perspective hidden between the balanced letters and
aged documents. The fourteen rhombus pieces of camel bone are engraved with a letter on
each side, echoing the book's interior.