Christto & Andrew. Era Without Era, 2012. C-print, 120×90 cm.
As jigsaw puzzles piece together to a form a visual image, the sedimentation of symbols within Christto & Andrew’s photographs reveal the affects of history, politics, the economy and popular culture into the construction of contemporary society specifically found in the Gulf region. Using Qatar as an example, exaggerated colours, staged compositions and uncanny humour hightlight this constant development, and the malleable state of transformations into which its multitude of lifestyles are nurtured and interact.
In the same way, scavenged objects are transformed into cement moulds and regular people into models through photography to subvert and further notions of value, commodification and occupation. As a result, each object and character within their photographs become symbolic refelections of these stratifications found in Qatari society.
Christto and Andrew’s images, therefore, do not to critcise but rather hightlight two parallel dialogues-a local one and an expatriate one, which equally weave together this complex network of cultures and subcultures evident in most Gulf and MENA contexts.