2013 CE (date the Hilton opened)
Found in the Hilton Hotel, 2013
You can never really be sure who you are praying to when you use me. You, the lazy ones, who don’t want to leave the hotel room. Yes, your direction is to the Qibla, but look down under your feet and you’ll see the stamp of the future: The Hilton. Five star and six star. This is the land you bow from.
If you do dare leave the sanctuary, you will travel safe in the knowledge that for each prayer of the pilgrimage you’ll have a silky, downy rug to kneel on. But continue this way and you’ll be trapped for eternity in the corridors of excess and waste, stuck on the second rung of the capitalist pyramid.
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 Mater2014