Weng Contemporary


Al Siraat (The Path)-Abdulnasser Gharem-1

In 1982 torrential rain beat down on a valley in the Tihama region, in south-western Saudi Arabia, soon threatening to flood the villages. The inhabitants decided to take refuge on a recently built bridge, trusting in the solidity of its construction. They put their faith in concrete. So, they stored their vehicles and food there and they waited. And the flood came and swept away the bridge and the villagers. In August 2007 the artist went out to the still ruined bridge. He sprayed the broken structure with the Arab word “Al Siraat,” which means “the path” or “the way,” repeating this inscription several thousand times over the fissured surface. In this work the artist expresses a certain relation to the world and to technology, questioning the very foundations of our choices, and the way in which our value systems have today put feats of construction before religious belief.

“ Does concrete protect you? We should be educating people, giving them opportunities, not building these barriers. My message is simple: don't put your trust in concrete. „

Abdulnasser Gharem