Mirage City Cinema

By Ole Scheeren © Buro-OS

A program of ghosts, of memories: a space of dreams and fantasies.
Open Air Cinema
Completion: 2013
Sharjah Art Foundation
Marouth Square, Sharjah
350 m2
Coral Concrete plates, Pathways, Lighting

Sharjah’s historic fabric:
a sense of disorientation – the maze of the madinah
Narrow alleys, solid buildings, interlocking volumes
– an intricate texture
Partly resurrected, partly reconstructed
through the museum of the Sharjah Art Foundation
Mirage City Cinema: Echoes of the cities’ fabric
A city within the city…
or rather memories of itself, of its dreams and fantasies
Imprints, a relief… somewhat flattened, slightly blurred
Plaza, courtyard and rooftops
melting into a texture of shared identities
And shared stories of the city and the people that inhabit it
The ghosts of a city… the ghosts of stories…
and the stories of ghosts
As they connect the past to the present
And to the possibilities of the future

At night, people used to sleep on rooftops,
now occupied by loudly humming air-conditioning units
Maurouth Square: embedded reliefs turned back into spaces
to rest, exchange, escape
Rugs, carpets, mats and poufs
casually scattered across the plateaus
Surfaces of encounters, shared narratives… spaces of sociability

Material memories: corals…
once the predominant substance of buildings, now threatened
Its rubble, debris crushed and embedded in the terrazzo of the relief’s surfaces:
Recycled matter, transcended identities

Sounds from different directions, audible, yet invisible…
From somewhere behind the walls
Multiple projections, a sense of uncertainty, of non-directionality
Drifting into the realm of stories, of light and narrative
Of hope and the freedom of dreams

Intermittently, little pairs of red eyes, watching…
softly, silently, from afar
As if memories of a long forgotten past
continue to live in the present

Ole Scheeren, 2013

The Mirage City Cinema is a cinema-architecture space by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Ole Scheeren, commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation as part of the Sharjah Biennial 11 Film Programme curated by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Sharjah Biennial 11, Re:Emerge – Towards a New Cultural Cartography takes place from March 13 – May 13, 2013 in Sharjah, UAE.

ASSISTANTS: Lelia Ku, Tomohiro Sugeta, Leonard Wong
PHOTOGRAPHS: Buro Ole Scheeren
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