My response was based on my first trip to Sharjah to visit the site and location in November of 2006. I was stricken by the dominating feeling of an orderly chaos. Somehow beyond the crowded streets with poor people, the chaotic urban planning and the chocking contrast between rich and poor the city made total sense. It was all weaved in a net of an incredible beauty. This was my starting point.
My attempt was to construct a parallel ‘true/real’ world, give form to the crude emotions conveyed by the outside world/city. It is ridding this world/city of its disguise and bringing its ‘rawness’ to the surface. It is an attempt to show the true face reality and the true perception of things.
I also wanted to stress on the chaos humans wreak VS the inexistent concern about the consequences it has on the planet and the humans. The UAE‘s economy is all based on all. Its fast development has been at the expense of a lot of people’s miseries. Cheap labour (modern slavery), workers coming from South-East Asia did all the hard work, while the rich and wealthy were comfortably shut in their palaces. I had a feeling it was all ephemeral. Eventually the Emirates are going to run out of oil. I had the vision of abandoned cities and empty skyscrapers. The cities were not self-sustainable. A lot of energy was needed to produce clean drinking water for people and to make the desert green. Air-conditioning was needed all year around. The planet was paying a high price to domesticate a small part of hostile environment. While setting up this work, I had the chance to have the help of six great Pakistani workers who ended up being part of the piece. I have to say that it was an incredible experience to work with them, along with seven veiled university students from Sharjah and my two Italian collaborators. Our interactions became the final ‘product’.
I get to approach my work and its process differently every time. Listening to ‘happy accidents’ and letting them take over along with process becomes a big part of the aesthetics of the piece.
These new valves should have extended the life expectancy of this earth for century. I see the air bubbles seeping out! Run!
text by Marya Kazoun
- 1. Hairy living creature with an uncertain nature. COuld be human as it could belong to the animal world. They could also be sweet demons. The Amos are tired of the heavy load of humanity.