23rd Nov 2016
A major public art commission, The UAE Memorial, by Idris Khan is unveiled on 30 November in Abu Dhabi's new Memorial Park this month.
A permanent tribute to United Arab Emirate's soldiers and past dignitaries who have sacrificed their lives in conflict, Khan's monument design was selected by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, from proposals submitted by three international artists.
The monument, which will comprise a series of immense metal panels, each supporting the next, will form the centerpiece of a newly created Memorial Park. The monument will sit alongside a large plaza, public gardens, and a pavilion also designed by Khan, which will house the names of the fallen soldiers from 1971 onwards on a circular wall made using 11 tons of recycled aluminum brought back from scenes of conflict. A unique reflective pool has also been created which will mirror the nearby Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and a visitor centre which will promote understanding of the role of the UAE’s armed forces in serving and safeguarding the nation.
Back in the UK, Khan currently has a solo exhibition at the Whitworth, Manchester. Focusing on the mediums of painting, drawing and photography, this exhibition presents a huge, new (instead of monumental) wall drawing and several other recent works (instead of recent bodies of work) including Eternal Movement (2012), a photograph inspired by part of the Hajj where devotees walk back and forth seven times between two mountains near Mecca; The Rite of Spring (2013), created from layered photographs together (get rid of) of the entire score of composer Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece; and Beginning or End (2013), a meditation on Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and the cyclical nature of life and existence, created using black gesso and ink.