Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys takes visitors through the holiest city in the Islamic world.


It presents a compelling portrait of the massive urban redevelopment now underway and its effects on residents and the millions of hajj pilgrims who travel there every year. Saudi artist Ahmed Mater has documented this unprecedented expansion for nearly a decade.

The exhibition is anchored by monumental photographs from his project Desert of Pharan: Unofficial Histories Behind the Mass Expansion of Mecca, alongside large-scale videos and installations. In addition to showing the influx of wealth, photographs detail the lives of workers on constructions sites and of migrant groups.


"I need to be here, in the city of Mecca, now, experiencing, absorbing, and recording my place in this moment of transformation, after which things may never be the same again," states Mater. "It has become important for me to identify with this place and to understand how this constellation of change, as well as the forces that are shaping it, will affect the community of which I am a part."


Focusing on Mecca as both a symbolic site of worship and a contemporary urban centre grappling with the consequences of unremitting growth, Mecca Journeys presents a portrait of the complex cultural dynamics at work in the city today.


Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys is curated by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.


The exhibition is organised by the Brooklyn Museum in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and is produced in collaboration with CULTURUNNERS.

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December 1, 2017 - April 8, 2018 |
Brooklyn Museum