Al Kaaba Al Musharrafah, 2017
Copper sulphate on plastic, plexiglass
70 x 80 x 9 cm
British artist Roger Hiorns (1975, Birmingham, GB) investigates material and form in the broadest sense. Strong opposites coexist, generating a tension between creation and collapse, the permanent and the ephemeral, the organic and the mechanic through processes in which he himself has often no influence on the eventual appearance of the work. Hiorns' best friend in school in the 1980s was a Muslim boy, who most Saturdays disappeared into his own world of devotion to Allah with his family at a local faith school and mosque. Afterwards, in the afternoon, the artist would go to his friend’s house and play, being surrounded by the artefacts of his faith. Hiorns was in particular endlessly fascinated by the image of the Al Kaaba, the dark and unreflective focus of all Muslim faith. Hiorns found the relief model of the Al Kaaba Al Musharrafah recently near his home. It was broken in half and must have fallen off the wall of one of the faithful at a home near by. Hiorns fixed the plastic relief and introduced it to the purity of the system of universal nature; crystallisation. The artist feels like he somehow has added to the purity of his memory of his youth as well as to the purity of the devoted Muslim towards the sacred black cube, and somehow have united them in a puity of crystallised nature for all time.