15. Ghee made in Makkah


c. 2005 CE
c. 1425 AH
Found in the storage of a Mecca family, 2015

Wonderful, delicious, creamy ghee! Without me, everything tastes bland. I am the cream on the wagon of delights. I am holy, holy ghee, for I come from the special brand of the Goat! I am symbolic of the first shepherd, Abel, and then of Abraham and Moses, who herded sheep and goats. You most probably see me as something humble and crass, not as haute cuisine like some of my brothers and sisters. I may be the simple man’s oil, but I am also the most delicious. For simplicity bears its own wealth, and all may share me at their table.

This work transcends the objects. Ultimately, what I’m working with isn’t only the artefacts themselves, but the stories attached to them. For me, each tale is the manifestation of the object, and each object is a tangible materialisation of an underlying narrative. The work finds its equilibrium somewhere between the stories and chronology they’re chaptered into, the objects becoming knots or points along the timeline, woven into stories as part of the language of this artwork. Each story draws out a tale that intends to trigger imagination and memory, mixing fact with fiction, with the ultimate aim of straddling, conflating and confusing fixed notions of history to open up the unofficial histories that shape the character of place and memory.
Ahmed Mater
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