Colosse aux pieds d’argile

Rayyane Tabet

Colosse aux pieds d’argile is a large scale sculpture composed of marble columns and concrete cylinders that transform the exhibition space into a field. The columns are reclaimed from a 19th century house in Beirut that was clandestinely destroyed by a group of workers to force its reluctant owners to sell it. The cylinders are concrete stress test samples from the skyscraper that was built to replace this house. The work cofronts two versions of the same architectural element – the column – acquired from the same site spanning the course of one hundred years of urban development. Both the house and the skyscraper have reflected different ideals of how life should be lived. Both have been extrapolated into ideas of how homes should be built, un-built or re-built. Each has been used to usher concepts of modernity and each holds within their building blocks the seeds of their own unmaking.