“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.
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