Mirage of a futuristic city, Dubai emerges along the Arabic peninsula, transformed into an immense and never completed building site.
The constantly mutating city has no limits. It gathers more than a quarter of the operational Towers Cranes - the cranes which enable building the highest towers of the planet. With some 600 skyscrapers - and particularly the highest tower in the world, Dubai is the place of all urban and architectural fantasies.
In his work Keep Sharpening your Knife and it Will Blunt, Pascal Hachem questions the progress of the city. Its urban project is being carried out at the expense of the natural identity of the site: the desert. The artist’s installation reproduces the constant progression of Dubai from which, every day, new constructions arise and alter the desert littoral. In an almost unperceivable upward movement, sharpened knives connected to a visible mechanism, slip through the slits of a transparent surface covered with sand. Materializing the skyline or the horizon of Dubai, the knives progress vertically just like the towers seem to rise in an almost chimerical mode in this large urban centre.
To the disproportion of Dubai, Pascal Hachem opposes the thousand-year-old wisdom of Lao-Tseu. His quotation constitutes the title of a work which denounces the ambition of the City-State built without consideration for the real occupation of buildings set up like monumental symbols of an unrivalled luxury.
Translated by Valérie Vivancos