Index

“Geometry does to the mind what soap does to a garment. It washes off stains and cleanses it of grease and dirt.”
14th century Tunisian Arab historian Ibn Khaldun in his book Muqaddimah.

'Heilige Graf'
performance
Ritual = Alghorithm

2016

In response to the work of Germaine Kruip on show at the Oude Kerk, Wael projected a pattern that adorns a famous tomb in Baghdad onto a portion of the church’s ceiling. It was built by and named after Zumurrud Khatun, the mother of Caliph al-Nasr li-Dinillah, prior to her death in 1202.

The pattern rotates at an algorithmically-defined rhythm during the course of an hour, while the following short poem* by the 11th Century Persian polymath Omar Khayyam is recited in Farsi, Arabic, Dutch and English:

Ah, but my Computations, People say,
Reduced the Year to better reckoning? – Nay,
‘T was only striking from the Calender
Unborn Tomorrow and dead Yesterday.

Both poem and pattern convey a simplicity that belies a hidden complexity, and communicate notions of the infinite through ritual repetition. In his intervention, Wael brings forth geometry’s elegant balance between clarity, intricacy and infinite repetition.

Collaboration: Charlie Clemoes, Setareh Fatehi Irani, Robbie Schweiger, Paolo Patteli.

*Source: Omar Khayyâm, Ambo, 1997