Big Ben 2068

 

 

2068 speed on earth suddenly became faster, and the day was 11 hours shorter. That is the first time Big Ben was not on time, and the British went crazy! How they made the clock a symbol to represent their architecture and civilization.

Big Ben is a sculpture made of rusty metal wires, in the shape of pregnant women in love with the time. The clock is without hands since the mayor of London removed them as if Time herself was wrong. 

Wafa Hourani - Palestinian Artist - Sculpture - Science Fiction

Miniatures, monuments, and secrets: notes on the work of artist Wafa Hourani - By Lara Khaldi

 

 

The monument and the time vertigo

 

There are other large fantastical sculptural characters made out of wire, such as the London 2068, 2009 another monument, but this time in the form of a pregnant woman standing for Big Ben. Hourani claims that in 2068 the speed of the earth’s rotation ascends causing time to shrink so that the day becomes only eleven hours long. This causes Big Ben to become inaccurate and obsolete to the utter anger of the British who take pride in their monument of precision. Big Ben is replaced by a sculpture of a pregnant woman made out of wire, where the pregnancy is proof of the movement of time. Here Wafa challenges the colonial modernist dream of conquering time after the conquering of space. Palestinian scholar Esmail Nashif writing about how modernity looks like from Palestine, or how the Palestinian problem is a dystopia generated by European modernity, states that in modernist epistemology “Space has become a function of or an agent of time. Space was temporalized geographically after the Europeans authored the map of the world, conquering space so that it was not necessary to think in or of it any longer. At present, questions of knowledge are associated with time in a double movement, time as an epistemic inquiry and knowledge as an accumulative product of time pushing forward.’[1]London 2068 disrupts this accumulative product of time. It is replaced with feminine[2] time, where the sculpture watches over the city awaiting a child. It is also akin to the Trojan horse, as one wonders what this monument will bring, or whether in its monumentality it will stay forever pregnant with the future.

 

[1] Nashif, E., 2010. Gradus for Opening the Episteme. Ramallah: Muwatin, The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, pp. 239

[2] Wafa Hourani states that the monument also comes as a response to the feminist movement’s history in the UK and London’s patriarchal architectural forms.

© 2020 Wafa Hourani