In previous works, Abbas Akhavan has examined the domestication of nature, reflected in gardens and parks, as an extension of a settler colonial logic of progress manifest through expansion of the built environment. For SB13, he draws our attention upward—the direction most associated with futurity—in three interrelated works that explore this particular spatio-temporal order through gestures of aerial projection and perspective.
In conjunction with his other work Variations on a Garden (2017), Akhavan explores the poetic and political dimensions of an aerial vantage point in two works in Al Mureijah Square.
Kids, Cats and 1 Dog (2016) is a text work installed on the Gallery 1 rooftop. Only legible to passing airplanes, helicopters and drones, the work was originally informed by messaging used by Hurricane Katrina survivors to attract the attention of overhead rescue units. Critical of unsustainable rates of expansion and consumption in many parts of the world today, the work calls attention to the Earth through its aerial vantage point and emphasises the destructive conceptions of development that currently threaten our habitation of the planet as well as our ability to travel within and beyond it.
Kids, Cats and 1 Dog
Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation