- Path to the Persian Market, 2009, Enamel print, Spray Paint, Installation View, Commissioned and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation, Photo by Alfredo Rubio
Root/Route Patterns of Sharjah, 2009
Four-part site-specific installation
Installation view at Sharjah Contemporary Arab Art Museum
Commissioned and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Photo by Plamen Galabov
- A Pearl Divers Tale, 2009, Carved Wall, Animation with excerpts from 1971 Film “Bas Ya Bahr”, Installation View, Commissioned and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation, Photo by Plamen Galabov
- Path to the Persian Market, 2009, Enamel print, Spray Paint, Installation View, Commissioned and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation Photo by Alfredo Rubio
- Geography Lesson, 2009, Screened Satellite Photo, Installation View, Commissioned and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation, Photo by Alfredo Rubio
My project for the biennial is broad and in four parts, one of which is a long and narrow footpath from the entrance of the museum to the Persian spice market along the Corniche harbour where colourful wooden boats from Iran load and unload provisions.
The indoor pieces combine three installation related to the footpath and the particular history of Sharjah in the general context of the Arabian Gulf. The three segments punctuate a path between them. These include an installation of geological findings nestled in the bridge windows and relates them to Arab patterns, a large free-standing aerial map of Sharjah with painted patterns dominates an open lobby-like space, and finally, a video animation about pearl divers with imbedded quotations from the 1971 Kuwaiti film Bas Ya Bahr or Enough, Cruel Sea, with a spinning candelabra - all viewed as a light show from behind an Islamic patterned wall.
These related installations underscore the evolution of Sharjah and its diversity by using culturally specific patterns to track the city’s ethnic and historical makeup. The paisleys or botheh hover over the lagoons and pay tribute to the enduring Persian and Indian presence. The parks, mosques, heritage sites, souks and highways are punctuated with Islamic, Arab and Bedouin patterns while traffic roundabouts with English embroidery allude to the British legacy. The indoor gallery installations also follow a path: one leads from the landscape of Sharjah to the story about the pearl diver, another connects the designs of nature and geometry while a large satellite map reveals the patterns of landmarks and formations.
Excerpted from Provisions, Book 1, catalogue for the 9th Sharjah Biennial