Boulder Plot, 2014
Location: Dubai, Shindagha Heritage Village
Boulder plot is a site-specific sculptural installation composed of gouged boulders that were carefully handpicked from Fujairah, where quarries regularly conduct blasts in the mountainous Emirate, producing a range of aggregates and rocks used for asphalt, concrete, marine and infrastructure construction works. Each of these boulders has a cylindrical hole that runs through it. These holes are caused due to a particular and infrequent phenomenon seen at quarries during rock blasting. The process involves drilling holes into a mountain, which are filled with industrial explosives. Since the explosives are not filled up to the brim the impact of the blast is reduced towards the surface area. This uneven distribution of energy sometimes yield boulders that retain the drill holes. When observed closely, these perfectly chiseled cylindrical holes offset the irregular surface of the boulders, a trace of mankind’s rational incisions into the organic shapes of nature. Transported to the city and arranged in a regimented order within a barricaded empty plot, viewers get a private audience with the boulders and a chance to peek into the construction activities that extend into the mountainous landscape of the region. In Dubai’s cityscape there are thousands of such barricaded construction sites where the viewer is not expected to see what is happening behind them. Revealed to the viewer in an enclosed space, these rough extracts from nature translate an invisible yet common construction process. After the exhibit the boulders will be sent to a crusher plant from where they will be distributed into the region’s construction industry market, either in rock or broken down aggregate form.