Collected in 2015
The surfeit of people is determining the identity of Mecca. Yet only very few determine the city’s fate – for only they are given full access, exclusivity in its most refined, filtered and segregated form. The wealthy fill up the high-rise, five-star hotels, booking their places with a healthy dollar advance, whilst the poor are funnelled through, receiving vouchers or tokens for every step of the Hajj, since there are not enough places to actually take part.
But don’t worry! For a small extra fee, you can follow your very own motawif on me, Snapchat! You came as close as your income would let you and God will be happy with that. Anyway, I’m better than the real thing: I give you the whole pilgrimage live at your fingertips!
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