Postcards from Tatooine

Late last year Dubai gallery The Empty Quarter (Orientalists everywhere! “Huzzah!”) staged a pair of gimmicky solo-exhibitions hovercrafting around my favorite subject: yes, the SFKhaleej.
The perfectly punchlined “Dubai, Transmutations” was composed of the work of Martin Becka, a French photographer who used an 1857 style view box camera to capture contemporary Dubai. He xeroed in on the city’s more optimistic-futurist architectural elements for maximum effect. The desired outcome was to create postcards from “a future we will not live to see”. I’ve been wrestling with the logic behind that statement and conclude he means either a. Dubai residents are blind zombies or b. Dubai does not and will never exist in Sepia. Shrug.

A few weeks later Cedric Delsaux’s “The Dark Lens: Dubai Invasion” had it’s opening. I vas dubious. Yes, Dubai’s landscape lends itself to a skewing of perspective however this show was part of a trilogy of gruesomely butchered Star Wars/City Photoshop mashups posing R2 at a welding station in an unfinished skyscraper and docking the Millenium Falcon half-way up the freshly minted Titanic of a “superscraper”, the Burj Khalifa.

The only compelling image from “The Dark Lens” is of the above unfinished flyover – orange cones winking out of a morning fog as the shadow of an Imperial Walker stalks out of the gloom. It is a chilling picture. Maybe because it is a reminder of the vulnerability that comes with leaving the present unattended. Unfinished roadworks, the half-grown high rises and the rubble-filled parcels of reclaimed coastline are all symbols of the city’s neglect for ‘now’ and how the frightening spectre of a wobbly bipedal wrecking-machine with laser guns could come trenching through our today at any moment.

PS Red riding burg3s will be obligatory during my reign as the Emirah of Mos Eisley Spaceport.

3 Responses to “Postcards from Tatooine”
  1. dugpol says:

    tatooine was home to 2 star wars mesiahs, do you think the desterts of the UAE will produce a parallel

  2. Just for the fun of crosshatching SciFi mythologies, Yes Dugpol, The Kwizatch Haderac is definitely hailing from al-Emarat.

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