The genesis behind The Selfless Holy Ground collection was the result of being provoked by the mere thought of drastic, lasting, unmeasured, and perhaps unconscionable change underway in the holy city of Mecca. How much change should we embrace and welcome in our holy land that has been the source of prayer and pilgrimage for more than a millennial? Will its soul, essence, and beauty — its identity be unrecognizable and lost to an age of personal, social, and economical modernity? Alarmingly, at the current rate of change, we need to stop and ask the currently unexplored, unconsidered implications of how our vices with technology and luxury will stand in the way of enshrining the virtues of the Kaaba for future generations and ourselves. It is too naïve to suggest that it is quite possible the Kaaba could be transformed into a hologram just mere centuries from now?
The five interactive installations exhibited at The Doha Fire Station’s Garage Gallery exhibition are created through the use and application of cutting-edge technology, including Arduino sensors/actuators, 3D printing, laser cutting, and water jet engraving. The collection explains and portrays the contrast between the traditional self-sacrificing, selfless, altruistic symbol that Mecca has always represented for Muslims, and the contemporary self-centered, selfish, egocentric aura that has become synonymous with one’s journey to our most holiest of places. The five installations represent the interconnectedness, in direct and powerful terms, between a Muslim and the Kabaa, both in intended and consequential terms.
Our careless and reckless acceptance of a robotic, narcissistic technologically-addicted way of living, where being called the ‘Selfie Generation’ is something that’s celebrated and ‘liked’, has led us toward drastic, unrecognizable, irreconcilable commercial change around Mecca’s holy ground to satisfy our hunger for seemingly modern, fashionable, current lifestyles.