While We Wait

While We Wait is a meditative installation by Bethlehem-based architects Elias and Yousef Anastas about the cultural claim over nature in Palestine.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Saturday, 16 – Sunday, 24 September 2017

  • Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64b, The Simon Sainsbury Gallery , Level 2

  • Free event

While We Wait photo

The towering structure consists of elements of stone from different regions of Palestine, fading upwards from earthy red to pale limestone. The stone elements are shaped by both innovative and traditional techniques: they are designed on a computer, cut by robots and hand-finished by local artisans.

The process of ‘stereotomy’, the art of cutting stones so they can be assembled into a larger configuration, enables the lace-like structure to support itself. Moreover, lace-like gaps between the stones allow the viewer to look out, while being encouraged to imagine the installation’s eventual, natural surroundings through evocative sound and video components.

While We Wait is inspired by the Cremisan Valley, near Bethlehem, where the separation wall is currently being built, threatening to sever the historic link between the valley and its monastery. In contrast to wall, which divides the landscape, this installation will venerate extreme natural beauty and evoke the Cremisan Valley itself, its eventual home.

Following its unveiling as part of London Design Festival, the installation will tour to Concrete, a multi-disciplinary space in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai from 6-18 November 2017, where it will be on display as part of Dubai Design Week and then move permanently to the Cremisan Valley. To activate its function a cultural programme will be co-created with the local community in the Cremisan Valley exploring some of the themes of the installation, and acting as a lived monument and gathering space owned by the community.

Sound commission by Tareq Abboushi
Film commission by Mikaela Burstow

Supported by Concrete, Dubai

Part of London Design Festival at the V&A