“Distorted Reality” is an amalgamation of images that make up the visual material we are confronted with in our daily life—the artificially simulated “virtual reality” that we occupy in all of its forms. These images are the same that we project of ourselves and that we create of and for the world that surrounds us—yet they are in juxtaposition with the reality of that which surrounds us…

Today, the image has become potent as ever. Our visual fields are haunted incessantly by “image producers” of all sorts, producers who strive and compete to steal our attention and seduce us via the images of a “distorted reality” that they have especially tailored for us, their unknowing targets.

There are two kinds of “image producers.” The first type is, what I call, the “made-up image producer,” who distorts reality by producing images which hide part or all of the truth and make reality look more appealing. This type takes advantage of the fact that we are all in pursuit of the “better” and that we all avoid the “worse,” both of which, granted, are highly relative terms. This basic instinct has been abused in commercial advertisements, public communications, political discourse, and mass media. The dangerous facet of this type of imagery is that, most of the time, it disguises the “worse” as the “better;” it superficially and deceivingly polishes an ugly reality in order to sell it, in order to secure and/or buy for it a space within our field of vision…

The second kind of “image producer” is the “non-made-up image producer,” who distorts reality in a way that produces imagery which unveils the hidden truth, that shows the naked reality, as it is, and that vehemently opposes and fights against the surfeit of dolled-up imagery. This form focuses on revealing the “worse” rather than the “better.” It is the type of image created and expressed in art. The weakness of this image lies, however, in its unpopularity, for it is consumed by a limited public, especially in comparison to the public of the first type of image. How many know Dante & his Divine Comedy? But does not every one know McDonalds and Mickey Mouse?

This is a fierce war that is being waged. But the least we can say is that the perseverance of “non-made-up image producers,” in their continuous struggle to divulge the truth, has is in and of itself a form of wining?

The images that I have produced are “non made-up images,” created using the same techniques—performance, digital photography, computer graphics, and video—as those employed by “made-up image producers” but used in a way to contradict the “made-up image.”

This work is my self-defense system against the invasion of my field of vision by the “made-up image.” It represents my personal, critical vision of the world around us. Through it, I am trying to do as most artists do, each of us in our individual way.

—Faisal Samra