Coastline: Ziad Antar's Residency Project
Coastline is a photography project that will document the entire perimeter of the UAE’s coastline. It is an investigation into the social history and political economy of the UAE, but also of its visions into the future.
From the humble century-old small boat sea-trading to the massive state of the art construction projects, the UAE’s coastline is not only a road-map of its radical transformation, but also a reflection of its changing relationship to the sea. What was once a realm of economy, trade, livelihood and connection to the world, has also become the prime frontier for the country’s showcase of its new role in the region, accrued power and ambitions.
My interest in photographing in the UAE was sparked during my first visit of Sharjah, on the occasion of the Biennial in 2009. The port was extremely attractive and I found myself, in a matter of days, waking up at dawn to catch the first morning light and the earliest activity. As I drove to Dubai and other places, the changes in design, use, and everyday life of the coastline were fascinating. Soon, as the ‘inland’ of each place became more familiar, I realized the extent to which the coastline contained an unwritten map of the complex, multi-layered history and anthropology of the Emirates, and how it shaped its own future and outlook to the world.
For the span of six weeks, I plan to circulate throughout the coastline, at different hours, spend time to observe activity in all its forms and unlock some of the lost or hidden meanings, truths and secrets.
16.03.12 – 16.05.12
Collections Building, Arts Area, Heart of Sharjah
Rasha Salti and Ziad Antar