Evolution of Man


C-Type Print, diasec mounted on aluminium

A silhouetted gas pump mutates into a human x-ray, a gun to its head, before morphing back again. Unlike the progression of evolution, this foreboding form is caught in a relentless and destructive cycle without reprieve.

Here a succinct, urgent warning against an over-reliance on the petrodollar, a destructive addiction Mater witnessed in Saudi Arabia as it embraced and feted its fortune as a rentier state. These 2010 x-rays were a diagnosing doctor’s perspective – at that time, an apparently inexorable prognosis – that the environmental and social risks of oil were so vast that they threatened to throw the irrepressible march of evolution into a spiral of destruction.

This cautionary chiasmus has proven itself a powerful premonition of the changing fate of the Kingdom. Today, Saudi Arabia imagines a diversified future, a post-rentier state where new socio-economic ambitions wean the Kingdom off its oil dependence.

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