The exhibition Dubayyland (2014, Heidelberger Kunstverein) examines the staging of cultural symbols in the architecture of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Dubai as a contemporary city is based on the increasing concentration of international capital flows, an overlapping of de-localized, opposing life realities and the extremely accelerated expansion of urban structures. The result is an aesthetic of urban fragmentation, which is picked up and continued in the multi-part installation Dubayyland. Miniature representations of monuments, regional motives like the date palm, corporate logos and reconstructed architectural artifacts are arranged into a reflection on Dubai as a center of contemporary appropriation and simulation. The material for this project has been collected between 2009 and 2014.
Dubayyland, view into the light yard, Heidelberger Kunstverein
The title Dubayyland originates from the large-scale tourism project Dubailand, which was never realized due to the 2008 crisis. The spelling Dubayy was the first translation into English, which is not used anymore.
Palm Jumeirah, 2009/13, from the series Jumeirah, photo print, dimension variable
Men at Work, 2009/14, from the series Jumeirah, photo print, dimension variable
The photo Palm Jumeirah shows an aerial view from the airplane of the artificial island Palm Jumeirah on the coast of Dubai. As a counter perspective the photo Men at Work shows a panorama on the palm´s one unoccupied palm frond, which is also visible in the aerial shot.
Monuments, 2014, keychains, chains, dimension variable
Monuments consists of a collection of souvenir keychains, mainly vintage, purchased in Dubai. The miniature architecture motives include the Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Emirates Towers and the World Trade Centre.
Arish, 2014, palm fronds, palm fiber rope,185x220x4cm
The suspended sculpture Arish shows as an architectural artifact a construction technique used for building traditional huts made of palm fronds and palm fiber rope.
Palm District Cooling, 2014, concrete, MDF, lacquer, wall paint, each 40x40cm
The three relief disks are modeled after variations of the corporate logo of Palm District Cooling. The company runs central air conditioning plants in Dubai neighborhoods such as Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lakes Towers or Ibn Battuta Shopping Mall, all projects by the real estate developer Nakheel.
NAKHEEL Palm Jebel Ali, 2014, video (11min), company sign, banquet chair
Video stills NAKHEEL Palm Jebel Ali
The video portrays the NAKHEEL Palm Jebel Ali Sales Centre, a large, unfinished office building at the base of Palm Jebel Ali. The project was abandoned before completion due to the 2008 crisis. The video follows the structure of the building´s icon, a light house, starting with the building´s exterior during sunrise, then moving inside where the darkness of the unfinished building is broken up by the bright daylight and vastness of the surrounding desert and canals and ends on top of the lighthouse with the sun setting over the landscape. The video installation is extended by an original NAKHEEL corporate sign, taken from the abandoned site in Jebel Ali.