An image turns up in Salt Lake City at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art with Moath Alofi's name to it: a photo showing the magnificence of the smallest and simplest of mosques in the enormity of a landscape outside the 'Holy City' of Medina. An image functioning in this environment to rub shoulders with an American religious community which set up camp in the salt lakes of the Western American state of Utah. The exhibition named 'Cities of Conviction' or 'The Origin Issue' is a public relations driven event and Moath Alofi's photo for it works so perfectly well, that it is used for the newsletter about the exhibition, but without the artwork losing it's own authority. The image is part of a series 'The Last Tashahhud' for which Alofi has collected in an ongoing project 66, already, lonely and often abandoned mosques, built by private philantropists for travellers around the city of Medina.
Alofi was born in the city in 1984 and works in and with the city since 2013 after having received a university education in environmental management and sustainable development in Australia.
I had seen one of his landscape images before at the 'Earth and Ever After exhibition' in Jeddah in 2016 and in e-mails from Athr Gallery other images documenting graffiti messages on the walls of Medina.
Sources and links:
- The artist's own website: Moath Alofi
- The Last Tashahhud project on the artist's website
- Cultrunner's press release, 2nd of August 2017.
- Earth And Ever After, exhibition catalogue produced by Jeddah Arts 21,39 with curatorial statement by Mona Khazindar and Hamza Serafi and a contribution by Aya Alireza, Jeddah 2016, pages not numbered, but in the 'Beautiful Earth' section.
- 'Moath Alofi opens doors to Madinah's past' by Rawan Radwan in Arab News online, 12 August 2016.
August 3, 2017.