54. Pilot’s log book


c. 2001 CE
c. 1421 AH
Found on an abandoned aeroplane in Jeddah, 2013

I am the pilot’s log book, especially commissioned for the Hajj, when the swarms start to travel. They used to come on foot, by camel, on old wooden ships, then by train, cruiser and car. Now, they fly through the skies from all corners of the globe! This change alone has shifted the axis, for now Mecca welcomes not just hundreds of thousands, but millions! For the Hajj we have to be prepared. It’s the most tiring of times for log books, and for pilots and planes, travelling backwards and forwards, from Singapore, Dhaka, Delhi, London, Paris, New York. You name it, we have it written down in our pages.

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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