Elias and Yousef Anastas (AAU ANASTAS) construct a meditative, immersive installation that aims to strengthen the relationship between nature and architecture in the Palestinian landscape. Exhibited during Dubai design week 2017, the self-supporting structure encompasses a curated public programme with evocative sound, poem and video components within OMA’s concrete, a recently opened multi-disciplinary space located at Alserkal avenue.
First shown at the Victoria and Albert museum for London design festival 2017, concrete is the second stop on the journey of ‘while we wait’, with its eventual and permanent home in the Cremisan valley, near Bethlehem in Palestine.
The vision behind concrete has always been to create a multi-dimensional platform that is ideal for museum-grade exhibitions across the spectrum of art, performance and design. “While we wait” inhabits the intersection of contemporary art and design while also being relevant to the diverse audiences in Dubai.
Palestinian architects and designers AAU ANASTAS’s ‘while we wait’ forms a sculptural installation comprising of differently colored pieces of stone quarried in various regions of their nation. Designed digitally, cut by robots and hand-finished by local artists, the material fits together to create a Y-shaped, lattice-like and visually porous tower, which fades in tones from an earthy red to pale limestone as it climbs higher.
It uses traditional techniques of the region, specifically using stereotomy – an art of cutting stones for assembly – to interweave its solid and secure structure. Set to depart from Alserkal avenue’s concrete to the Cremisan valley after Dubai design week 2017, ‘while we wait’ was influenced by its eventual home, where the separation wall is currently being built.
This construction threatens to sever the historic link between the environment and its monastery, whereas the installation will beautifully link the two. Its immersive characteristic aims to create a moment for visitors to view upon the picturesque landscape.