URBAN EPIDERMIS: A journey of dilapidation, 2012

Cement fibre board, epoxy primer,
aggregate, bitumen paint, sand, black sand,
road marking paint, rubberized paint,
reflective glass particles, scrap rubber,
GP resin, Glass fibre mat and
waste engine oil.






   

Man and the city share a curious alliance. They build and exhaust each other, depend on and deceive one another. When this relationship takes an abusive course it leaves behind many fissures, fractures and fragments. A journey of dilapidation; cracked surfaces layered over the years by cyclic tire marks, and machinated patterns endured by individuals regularly traversing this course.


Residing and working in recently developed areas in Dubai the artist can't help but notice the new infrastructure that surrounds him. They stand in stark contrast to the ageing neighbourhoods he is more familiar with. Assimilating from these abused grounds one can debate what the fast germinating concrete sectors have in store for their settlers. Do the progressive forces that are driving this growth have a plan for the miniscule unit called the individual in this larger scheme? Will these communities and their populace be forgotten as we shift our focus to the next modern development?

The works/substrates presented can be viewed as excerpts from an urban page, as well as pieces of anticipated evidence, where the urban condition mirrors the face of the human condition. Entire communities then seem like commodities that come with an expiry date.


THE PROCESS

The process to create these surfaces was developed over 7 months using a number of industrial materials. The artist spent a considerable amount of time with road construction factories to understand how they build Asphalt surfaces. The initial aim was to hang a real road, but that would make them extremely heavy. Eventually the artist devised a method to create a thin layer of asphalt. Cement fibre boards were layered with aggregate, bitumen paint, road marking paint and other materials. These were exposed to outdoor conditions during the summer, after which they were driven over and physically abused to create dilapidated surfaces. Each surface weighs approximately 110 kilos, except for Surface No. 2, which weights approximately 220 kilos.


Special thanks to:
Mr Pillai and the entire team at Tekncoat International Factory, Mr. Syed Reffai (Ascon Road construction), Mr Qazi (Falcon chemicals), Mr. Brendon Poole (C.A.T decor), Mr. Ram Saran, Kevin Jones and Mr. Sobhnath.