While We Wait at Alserkal Avenue
— By AAU Anastas

While We Wait, a meditative, immersive installation, commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, will be on show in Concrete from 6-18 November 2017.

The installation has been designed by s Elias and Yousef Anastas. The artwork is comprised of pieces of stone quarried in various regions of Palestine, which fit together to form a large, lattice-like, self-supporting structure. The resulting sculptural installation is visually porous, allowing viewers to see their surroundings from inside, whilst listening to evocative sound and video components. While We Wait was designed digitally, cut by robots, and hand-finished by artists. Using ‘stereotomy’, the art of cutting stones for assembly, the installation was produced in Palestine, and elements of the process have employed traditional techniques from the region

While We Wait is inspired by the Cremisan Valley, near Bethlehem, where the separation wall is currently being built, threatening to sever the historic link between the valley and its eponymous monastery. In contrast to the concrete wall, which dominates and divides the landscape, this installation will venerate extreme natural beauty and evoke the Cremisan Valley, its eventual home. Following its display at Concrete, While We Wait will move permanently to the Cremisan Valley, where it will represent a celebration of the relationship between nature and architecture in the context of the Palestinian landscape.

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