The artwork highlights recent cultural shifts in the Gulf region, specifically within the cultural and entertainment arena. These cultural changes... Read More
The artwork highlights recent cultural shifts in the Gulf region, specifically within the cultural and entertainment arena. These cultural changes stem from attempts to entice foreign investors by adopting familiar foreign milieus and compounded by decades of censorship that created an entertainment void. This led to a plethora of entertainment venues in the region that are western at their core but with an Islamic veneer that does not clash with local cultures. This installation represents this concept by constructing a “Halal” dance floor; two antithetical concepts. The dance floor, which is western cultural element, have been reshaped into octagon with a barrier around it to block accesses, which are two elements that truly captures the Islamic culture extrinsically and intrinsically, respectively. The artwork also features a disco ball that lost its circular shape and in favor of an Islamic inspired structure. It includes an assemblage of broken CD’s and music instruments to reference the post-Gulf War era, when constraints and censorship were tightened and neglect within the arts became the norm. Both the dance floor and the disco ball have no real functional purpose, only a cultural rubber stamp that appropriates others’ values for show only. This artwork mirrors governmental policies that are intended to make the region more attractive , while the oppression against the local artists and intellectuals continues.