AU, 2011

mixed media installation with audio 280 (h) x 320 (w) x 200 (d) cm

“Au” means water in Kurdish. It is present on our planet in enormous quantities. For the most part, however, it is not available for use considering the salt water which makes up our oceans and glaciers. The remaining quantity, which we use for the needs of mankind could be considered sufficient for the moment, but the resources are not unlimited. The need for water increases in an exponential way with the rise of the world population, and in a few years time the supply might be in jeopardy. Add to this man’s carelessness and irresponsibility. We waste and pollute the water supplies in the name of progress, of consumerism and of economic interests. It is estimated that within the next twenty years, consumption is destined to increase by 40%. What’s more, already today a large part of the world’s population does not have access clean water sources; among them are the people of the Middle East. In ancient days and until a few decades ago, these sources existed throughout the territory. They were called oases. Today after the building of dams by Turkey in the 70’s and by Syria in the 80’s, and the relentless draining of 15,000 square kilometers of Iraqi land- a decision by the regime- everything has changed: where there was once fertile land, there is now desert and desolation. The World Bank estimates that in 2035, 90% of the population of Western Asia, including the Arab Peninsula, will be without water. The small quantity that will still be available will be poured into urban areas, while the countryside will drown in inescapable aridity. The accumulation of refuse of large urban and industrial areas over the years has created further danger and damage to the integrity of this precious resource. Underground water levels are polluted by toxic substances. Non-biodegradable materials from dumps accumulate in canals and oceans. This work emulates the disturbing images from the media of islands composed entirely of accumulated waste.