2008 CE (date of the Royal Mecca Clock Tower’s completion)
Found in the Royal Mecca Clock Tower Hotel, 2012
I am the second most prized possession of this great city. Whilst it is true, I may not be the tallest building of all, or the most important structure, I am at least amongst the top four tallest in the world. I tower over the Empire State building, I sparkle brighter than the Eiffel Tower, and I tick louder than Big Ben. Megaprimatus Kong could not climb me, or straddle me if he tried. I am the icon of the city, the idol, the thing that they all pray to, unknowingly, but second only to one. I am the city’s prize, whether in tourist miniature models or real life.
Beneath the golden crest that shines in the sunlight are floors upon floors of apartments, hotel rooms, five-star luxury and pristine floors, doors, windows and finishes. I am the pinnacle of your experiences. Look up to me from the ground and you will collapse with dizziness.
They anger me by saying I am like the right arm of Hubal, the most revered of all the 360 pagan idols, the hand chopped off and replaced with gold. Moving towards my pinnacle are arrows representing life, death, rebirth, virginity and marriage. But I am no Hubal, for I am of the new world. I am a symbol, an omen, of all that is to come.
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