While We Wait, a meditative, immersive installation, commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, was on show in Concrete during Dubai Design Week and Abu Dhabi Art Fair.
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.
Commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London for the London Design Festival 2017. Presented in Dubai as part of Dubai Design Week and Abu Dhabi Art Week by Concrete (Alserkal Avenue) and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Curated by Salma Tuqan.
Film commission Mikaela Burstow
Sound commission Tarek Abboushi
Essay by Karim Kattan
Supported by Ghalia and Omar Al-Qattan; Concrete, Dubai; Nissreen Darawish; Nabil Qaddumi; Jerusalem Stone Group / Suhail Thalgieh; and those who wish to remain anonymous.