A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Phalsapheh: fal·sa·feh (noun): the character of being a smart ass

I am always being accused of being extremely im-phalsapheh(moi?), and admittedly, I’ve always been very good at BS-ing my way out of stuff.

But now, here I am; 4:22 AM, sitting in front of a glowing LCD that makes everything look pretty, and trying for the life of me to rake my brain for phalsapheh.


Alas, world! I can atphalsaph needlessly about coffee cups, advertisements, and musical events , but I can’t atmphalsaph about an artwork when I have to submit a critique in a few days.

But seriously, just look at a sampling of the critique questions I have to answer:

  • Is the work integral? Was it conceived or realized, or is it a part of a fragment?
  • Suppose you judge the work you are examining not as the product of a man or artist but as the representation of objects in relation to your physical and optical experiences; by do doing, do you feel you can understand the work for what it is in “itself”?
  • Do you find the work you are examining “beautiful”?
  • What do the words “fruition” and “enjoyment” of a work of art mean to you? Intellectual stimulation or sensual fruition or enjoyment?
  • If, in visual works with the same theme or same function, we find differences or atypical ness, even singularity and uniqueness of form and language rather than identity and equality, what can you deduce?

At the moment, I’m thinking “Huhhhhhhhhh?!?!”

Hopefully, I’ll be smarter tomorrow morning.

How dare anyone wonder how I can be so mphalsapheh? I’m gonna be doing it for a living.


Why Abu Samer made a bad blogger(although I agree with his point)


And further away…


  1. It sounds like they are trying to lead you to a decision with hoity toity, philosphical garbage. Just write, “I think it looks like crap,” and be done with it!

  2. Tim

    “How dare anyone wonder how I can be so mphalsapheh? I’m gonna be doing it for a living.”

    Ya Sater.

  3. noooooo!

    roba, its all about outlining! you cant sit infront of a computer and expect to write a good paper just like that.

    first, make a statement, claim about this art work: your thesis statement.

    then, from your thesis extract at least three main points that support your claim.

    then, you gather your supporting material – evidence that make your main points strong.

    thus you have the body of your paper. after that, attach an intro and a conclusion, and you are all set!

  4. You can read more about Kandinskys compostions and interpretations, maybe that will help

    A usefull link:

    Good luck!

  5. Awesome! I wish I was studying Arts!

    I always get a strange look when I manage to introduce philosophy in electronics. Sometimes I wish I were in an environment where someone would reply with more philosophy :)

  6. Kandinsky! I like his work. I hope you managed to work your way through the critique Roba, I was just reflecting on the possibility that had I chosen Fine Arts at the U of J,and you have no clue how close I got to doing that, I would be A)your class colleague B) in a very similar situation right now.

  7. Fadi K

    Art criticism..nah.. it’s just Art!

  8. It’s torture you guys! I still have a long way to go..

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