Shadow Sites I and its ‘sister’ Shadow Sites II are both films that adopt the vantage point of aerial reconnaissance missions while taking an altogether different viewpoint of the ground surveyed. Seen from above, the landscape appears abstracted, its buildings flattened and its inhabitants invisible to the human eye. Only when the sun is at its lowest point do features such as archaeological sites and settlements come to light. Much like a photographic plate, such 'shadow sites' map the latent images held on the surface of the earth.
Made up of a series of vertical aerials shots of landscapes bearing traces of natural and man made activity, Shadow Sites I scans the surface of the earth exposing sites ranging from the ancient to the contemporary such as the bronze age copper mines of Faynan; the enigmatic Nabataean ruins of Khirbat el-Moreighah; an exquisitely preserved Roman fort at Humayma and the remains of trenches dug by Ottoman garrisons around the town of Ma’an during WW l.
With support from Arts Council England and Young Arab Theatre Fund
Arts Council England and Mori Art Museum Collections
Courtesy of the Artist
This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 11
Shadow Sites I
16 mm film transferred to video
14 minutes, 20 seconds
Photo by Jamal Shanavaz