'Tahrir Square' was an one night only performance for Satellite Broadcast.
“Tahrir Square” is an interactive installation comprised of a grid of chess boards that spans nearly half the area of Satellite. The installation aims to act as a scale model reproduction of the Tahrir Square. One side of the installation is comprised of the Officials [King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight] representing the Mubarak posse. The other side of the installation represents the uprising [pawns]. The installation is played out during Satellite Broadcast. One person controls the moves of the ‘Officials’ and Ten people control the moves of the ‘Rioters’.
"Tahrir Square" at a glance could be a simple interpretation of the whole Egyptian revolution, but the piece deals with a lot more than the political face-value of the situation. On some levels I'm trying to explore the urban symbolism of the Square itself; the idea that whoever controls the square controls the State. Also, by creating the installation as a game whoever controls the centre of the board has more advantage than their opponent. The square has become an official place to gather and protest now, but will this trend continue in to the future, even after democracy has been achieved in Egypt ? If it does, how will people relate to the Square then? On some levels, the politics of the installation questions the pros and cons of this new found freedom. The transition to democracy has become a spectator sport with the whole world watching closely.
'Tahrir Square' aims to investigate the state of immediacy the revolution carries itself with. What happens this week, is more or less history the next week, with relationship to the pace at which the revolution has been going. The current state of this revolution so far has not managed to spell out a conclusive future for Egypt. But the revolution is already being spoke in dialects of 'the past'. The 'we managed to get rid of mubarak' argument seems faint now, like an echo, with relation to what is currently being played out in the country.
The Satellite Broadcast Series are one night only events that feature a site-specific art installation or performance within Satellite – James Clar’s studio space in the Al Serkal gallery district of Dubai.
Satellite Broadcasts give the opportunity to a selected artist or collective to create an engaging experience to the public through an installation or performance. Art covers a broad spectrum of sensory experience. Working outside the confines of the gallery system the artist is free to create an environment that is temporary, fragile, non-object related, auditory, interactive, etc.