ILLUMINATION

installation performance

Illumination uses the recreation of a site-specific landmark to transpose notions of recognition and value. Qala, an ancient fortress overlooking the city center of Erbil is one of many cultural heritage sites in Iraq. Perhaps the most important in Iraq's Kurdish north, the fortress was an ancient city to the Assyrians, Abbassids, Ottomans, and home to a lost battle by Alexander the Great. Its most significant designation is as the longest inhabited city space in the world. Recognized by Unesco as a world heritage site but long neglected, the fortress is currently undergoing revitalization as the city of Erbil and various developers are looking at ways to increase tourism. Illumination recreates the fortress as a site for mediation on the ephemeral quality of history, heritage, and how we mark the spaces that hold value. By establishing a participatory ceremony with the fortress at its center, the work presents a memorial not only to the site itself, but a moment for reflection on the architecture of what is lost and preserved.