Extruded aluminium mullion, extruded
rubber gasket, aluminium composite
cladding, structural silicone sealant,
C-print, plexiglass


Is the present a medium through which the past gets distorted? Is it inclined to skew our perceptions of a not so distant timeframe? Does it superimpose an altered image upon preceding narratives?

'Variable memories' questions how the mushrooming of modern urban districts recontextualises our standpoint of older quarters. Such dramatic transformations draw a frontier between recent history and the modern day. Entire sectors are cast off, getting displaced towards a nostalgic domain, where as they are still thriving economic centers, which are heavily populated.

In this project architectural facades from two different stages of development find themselves juxtaposed. Mirror facades with their glossy surfaces clad a growing number of modern towers in Dubai. What's reflected on these expansive panes is heavily distorted. The facades reflected in 'Variable memories' are from Deira and Satwa, older sectors of this city that are today viewed through a vision gone awry. They are often gilded with a layer of nostalgia. The quintessential postmodern architectural motifs that clad these sectors suddenly stand in contrast to their modern counterparts. How will this urban visual narrative reside in the collective memory is the question here. Have we begun to romanticise about them relatively early? Have they attained the status of a possible relic? Does this disposition hint at the prevalence of a disposable culture? Unknowingly, these facades reveal a distorted perspective through which we review our times and condition.

This project was realised with the support of Sedam Aluminium, Reprotronics, George Shahda Photography, DubaiCulture & Arts Authority, Campus Art Dubai, Tashkeel and Dubai Film and TV Commission.