Universes in Universe

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Dima Srouji

The Rule of Superposition, 2018
Plaster, wood, and steel

The Rule of Superposition (a basic axiom used in the science of geology) subverts the violent use of the practice of archaeology in Jerusalem by mapping surfaces, relying on memory and spirit, and taking viewers beneath the surface of the city to distort time and space. By shifting perspective, the Rule of Superposition (old on bottom, new on top) and the assumed modern temporal grid of linear time are questioned.

The mapped surfaces rethink the city as a homogeneous object and reveal a heterogeneous network, a fabric of traces that questions scientific processes and problematises the singular surface narratives constructed and censored by agencies of power. The traces are used as an access point to an alternative understanding of Jerusalem through its tactile ground. These traces, shown on the bottom surface, reveal a personal and emotional record of the city that relies on memory and spirit rather than scientific method.

Archaeological ruins and monuments are rendered as recombined and reconfigured artefacts to disorient and distort archaeological practice, thereby turning the “truth” on its head. The work reveals by tracing and excavating the ground of Jerusalem. The pure cartography presented on top acts purely as a blanket covering, or censoring, of what lies beneath the ground. The installation brings the viewers from the aerial perspective of the enlightenment to the levels of the subterranean as an act of excavation in itself.


Dima Srouji is an architect living and working between Ramallah and Sharjah, where she teaches architecture at the American University of Sharjah. She received a Bachelor of Architecture, with Honours, from Kingston University in 2012 and a Master of Architecture from Yale University in 2016. At Yale she received the nomination for the Bass Scholar in 2016, and the H.I. Feldman Prize for her Advanced Studio project with professor Peter Eisenman. Since graduating she has worked for Cino Zucchi in Milan, Riwaq in Ramallah, and has exhibited at Amman Design Week and Dubai Design Week. Her writings have been published in Jerusalem Quarterly, Brownbook, Pulp, and Paprika. Her work lies in the expanded context of interdisciplinary research projects. It acts as a form of political commentary and as a place-making or unmaking tool. She questions ideas of identity and globalisation through historic strata and spatial edges, in connection to the spirit of a place and displace through architectural projects, installations, product designs, and through her writing.

Second Award: shared by Firas Shehadeh and Dima Srouji

© Photo: Courtesy of A.M. Qattan Foundation

Young Artist of the Year Award 2018

A.M. Qattan Foundation's program to support Palestinian artists. Exhibition of the awardees and shortlisted artists. 6 Nov. - 27 Dec. 2018, AMQF Cultural Centre, Ramallah.

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