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Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟), 2021
Marble, 357 x 160 x 289 cm, 143 x 120 x 52 cm

© Afra Al Dhaheri 2021

Commissioned by and Collection of Expo 2020 Dubai

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟) (detail), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟), 2021

Press Release

Curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, the program brings leading local, regional, and international artists to create 11 contemporary artworks in public spaces across the Expo 2020 site through its initiative, which marks the first curated permanent open-air contemporary art exhibition in the UAE.

Al Dhaheri’s large scale work is part of the Programme curated by Muneera Al Sayegh and Mohammed Al Olama, located next to the UAE Pavilion, that explore the role of monuments in the local landscape and their connection with memory, architecture and nature. 

Afra Al Dhaheri’s practice explores cultural reconfigurations in the contemporary experience. In particular, her work is marked by a conscious enactment of loss as she captures a state of ephemeral memory.

Through this marble sculpture of tikkay, traditional Emirati floor pillows, Al Dhaheri revisits moments of impromptu play. The massive scale materializes the comparison in size felt by a child when piling up a pillow tower or fort. The material weight of the marble monumentalizes the experience of this recent history, allowing the delicate architecture of the tikkay to prompt questions of reinvention, play and creativity.

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