Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys
I've long been a fan of Ahmed Mater's photographic series mapping the rapid and vast expansion of the city of Mecca and the immediate surroundings of the Great Mosque of Mecca or al-Masjid al-Ḥarām. His monumental photographs of the his Desert of Pharan: Unofficial Histories Behind the Mass Expansion of Mecca project show the size and scale of the development and in their own way, make a commentary on his views on such urbanisation.
Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys - the exhibition currently running at the Brooklyn Museum in New York - uses these photographs as an anchor and present large-scale videos and installations shown alongside them. In addition to showing the influx of wealth, the photographs detail the lives of workers on construction sites and of migrant groups.
I've selected a few of the images here in this slideshow and for anyone reading this in NYC, be sure to catch this show. It is an eye-opener to a side of life in and around the holiest mosque in the world that not many people see or consider.
The exhibition is hosted in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and is produced in collaboration with CULTURUNNERS.
- Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys. December 1, 2017 - April 8, 2018. Brooklyn Museum Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia Gallery of Contemporary Art, 4th Floor.