When a loved one is absent, we long for solace and connection through photos, writing, and memories. In “La Chaleur de L’amour & la Beauté des Paroles” (The Warmth of Love & the Beauty of Words), Jad Melki forms the words of love letters. The sentences were written by his mother to his father in 1974 when his father was at the American University of Beirut and she in Sierra Leon. Every night, he would read the letters before going to sleep as a form of comfort.
The 90 x 180 x 50 cm installation is lit from the inside, casting a warm glow that is comforting and inviting. Almost like the page of a book, the top of the mattress is peeled away to expose its springs, altered to offer a support of a more emotional sort. Surrounded by the writing of a loved one, the piece suggests that the need for love is as essential to life as sleep.
The words read: “De l’après-midi j’ai besoin de ta présence. j’ai besoin de toi et de tes paroles pour me réconforter. J’ai besoin de sentir la chaleur de ton amour et la beaute de tes paroles.” This translates to: “In the afternoon I need your presence. In need your words to relief me. I need to feel the warmth of your love and the beauty of your words.”
Images by Micheline Nahara