Performing the City


The exhibition Performing the City focuses on a presentation and contextualization of a work-in-progress:
a five-part site-related but not site-dependent outdoor sculpture titled City Center / Nomadic Monads. This work — which I hope to temporarily install at the Sharjah Art Foundation — will be made up of five tall columns based on various geometric layouts (circle, triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon), each made of two- way mirror glass. A major aim of the exhibition is to explore the ways in which such a project — as a work of public art, an architectural intervention, and a focal point of discussion — can be place-generating through the ways in which it reveals the relationship between the built environment and the people who occupy or traverse it. This relationship is opened to reconfiguration(s), in reality as in the imagination. In other words, the columns make room for an experience of place, as distinct from mere location, drawing attention to the architecture of their surroundings through the configuration of the ensemble itself. The columns are emblematic of the specific trajectory of Gulf urbanism and relate in their seize to the human-scale of the viewers who see themselves reflected in them. Since the idea of human-scale urbanism plays an important role in this project, one column (pentagon) is presented in the exhibition alongside two architectural models, photographs, and visualizations of the installation that allows reflections on the proportions of the columns in relation to the human observer.

The Arts Center Project Space, Abu Dhabi

February 27 – March 12, 2023

Photography © Wise Monkeys Productions L.L.C. and John Varghese