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DAAR

DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti / © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe

DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

Artistic research practice situated between architecture, art, pedagogy, and politics.
more information below

Concrete Tent. 2023
Recycled wood, jute fabric

Collaborators: Alserkal Arts Foundation, Herman Hjorth Berge

Venue: Al Madam Village
about this venue, location

DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe

Al Madam Village, built in the 1970s, aimed to sedentarise and modernise a nomadic way of life — a mode of existence that was in contrast with the formation of a new nation-state. Today these houses are abandoned, taken over by the shifting sands.

Placed in this locality, the Concrete Tent is an experimental architectural preservation project that deals with the paradox of permanent temporariness. Made out of a repurposed solid wood frame and a concrete-like applique, it is a hybrid between a mobile tent and a concrete house; temporariness and permanency; movement and stillness; soft and hard. Permanent temporariness is a condition of dislocation and relocation caused by political, economic, and environmental changes, depriving people of the possibility to act and engage with the present. Either stuck in a nostalgic idea of a lost past or projected into an idealized future, the present seems inaccessible, and lives seem to be temporarily suspended.

DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe
DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe
DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe
DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Sharjah Architecture Triennial

Performance during the opening days.
© Photo: Sharjah Architecture Triennial

DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe

Expanding the conceptual scope, one of Al Madam’s modernist buildings is enveloped by jute fabric — typically used in tent construction. Here, architectural preservation is understood not as an instrument for permanency but as a method of re-narrating this intervention as a permanent temporariness heritage site. In dialogue with the modernist ruins, the new layer of jute is reminiscent of both ancient forms of nomadic life and the present condition of permanent temporariness experienced by today’s migrant populations.

Over time, the Concrete Tent will also be taken over by the town’s dunes, an inevitable reminder of the beauty of impermanence.

DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe
DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti © Foto: Haupt and Binder, Universes in Universe

About DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

The artistic research practice of DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti – is situated between architecture, art, pedagogy, and politics. Over the last two decades, they have developed a series of research projects that are both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. In their artistic research practice, art exhibitions are both sites of display and sites of action that spill over into other contexts: built architectural structures, the shaping of critical learning environments, interventions that challenge dominant collective narratives, the production of new political imaginations, the formation of civic spaces and the re-definition of concepts. DAAR has participated in multiple editions of the Venice Biennale (2003-2021), the Berlin Biennale (2022), the Istanbul Biennial (2009), the São Paulo Biennial (2014) and the Marrakesh Biennial (2016), among others. Recent major retrospective exhibitions have taken place at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (2019), Mosaic Room in London (2022), and La Loge in Brussels (2023). Their artistic practice has been awarded The Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at Bard College and The Golden Lion for Best Participation at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, for their long-standing commitment to deep political engagement with architectural and learning practices of decolonization in Palestine and Europe.


About Al Madam Village

Location on map

Al Madam Village, built in the 1970s, aimed to sedentarise and modernise a nomadic way of life — a mode of existence that was in contrast with the formation of a new nation-state. Today these houses are abandoned, taken over by the shifting sands.


© Texts: Sharjah Architecture Triennial.
© Photos: Haupt & Binder, Universes in Universe.

More in UiU:

2nd Sharjah Architecture Triennial

11 November 2023 – 10 March 2024
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability
Curatorial statement

Curator: Tosin Oshinowo

President of SAT: Hoor Al Qasimi

List of participants

Curatorial advisory board

SAT 2023 Exhibition Tour

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