Expansion Charts

Expansion Charts catalogues the evolution of development surrounding Masjid Al-Nabawi in Medina and Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, two of the most important houses of worship for the Muslim world. No less than three times a year, Waheed and her family would take a flight across Rub Al-Khali from the eastern to western province of Saudi Arabia in order to complete the Umra and visit with family. Every trip to these two sites acted as a milestone for the consistent development that the artist witnessed across the country between 1982 and 2004. From one visit to the next, new entrances would be built just as others closed, stacks of floors collapsed one over the other, gridded scaffolding eclipsed the grand mosques’ outer walls, while marble floors continued to expand for what felt like miles. Waheed recalls the first time she was greeted by Mecca’s Kentucky Fried Chicken, Medina’s McDonald’s, the shadow cast over the Ka’aba itself by the first five-star hotel, and all the crying children slung over parents’ shoulders that begged for toys in shops that lined the massive new mall built at the foot of its grand entrance. The works in this series fall somewhere between stark diagrammatic renderings and the notes of an architect swept up by the current of rapid development.

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