we were building sand castles_but the wind blew them away_FINALFINAL3.psd
In this public art commission presented by Alserkal Arts Foundation, METASITU transformed the building previously known as Nadi Al Quoz into a ruin folly. A popular architectural typology in the 18th and 19th century Western garden tradition, patrons commissioned ‘deliberate ruins’ and ‘exotic pavilions’ - follies - for their estates. These structures of ‘unusable architecture’ came to establish spatial counter-narratives to the production-line logic of the then-emerging, industrialisation era. By deliberately creating a ruin in 21st century ruin in Dubai, METASITU reflected on the extractive city-building processes, and contextualised them within different human, and geological timelines. In an attempt to return the building’s materials to their ‘original state’, different parts were repurposed and reused.
we were building sand castles_but the wind blew them away_FINALFINAL3.psd suggested architecture as a process, rather than a finished object. Through it, METASITU explored the cycles of ruinification, ecological footprint, returns, and alternative urban models.
Liva Dudareva (b 1984, Jelgava, Latvia), Eduardo Cassina (b 1986, Móstoles, Spain).
METASITU is a collective for developing future urban scenarios founded in 2014 by Dudareva and Cassina. METASITU’s projects are directed towards innovating strategies for resilience through building a body of knowledge and understanding about the way (urban) territories are inhabited. Since 2015, they have been developing different facets of the Degrowth Institute, a long-term project exploring how to masterplan for degrowth in post-industrial cities with dwindling population demographics. They were residents (Spring 2019) at Alserkal Arts Foundation and presented Tower, Fish, Pigeon (2019) as part of their residency. Their work has been exhibited at The Venice Biennale, tranzit.hu (Budapest), Sonje Art Center (Seoul), The Benaki Museum (Athens), Izolyatsia and Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv), The Strelka Institute and the Schusev Museum of Architecture (Moscow) among others.