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What relationship does visual culture have to the world we live in?

Haig Aivazian
1 November 2011

The Unimaginable Things We Build is a multi-part project exploring the evolution of the rhetoric surrounding, and material state of, the tallest man-made structure in the world, Dubai's Burj Khalifa.


The project focuses on several main stages of the skyscraper's life in order to bi-directionally put the material existence of the Burj into question. The work suggests that the tower, through its own incessant utterances, existed well before its inauguration and frames this inauguration as a public suicide.


In order to reconcile notions of globalization and site-specificity, as well as the idea of monumental landmark architectures as nodes in an unrepresentable global network of immaterial capital, the project makes use of artistic and literary frameworks and discusses the Burj via the perspectives of Lawrence Weiner, Walter De Maria, Yves Klein and Sheherazade, among others. 


Other sections of the Unimaginable Things We Build have been shown in The Pavilion in Dubai, Mercer Union in Toronto and will be included in an exhibition at Lombard-Freid Projects in New York.



Haig Aivazian

The End Is Just The Same As The Beginning, 2011-ongoing

3 excerpts from The Unimaginable Things We Build

Video, 3'

Courtesy of the artist

Haig Aivazian

Haig Aivazian is an artist, writer and curator, currently based in New York. He works with text, sculpture, video, performance and drawing in order to weave in and out of personal and geo-political, micro and macro narratives in the search for ideological loopholes and short circuits. Aivazian was associate curator of the tenth edition of the Sharjah Biennial in 2011 and his writings have appeared in a number of publications, including BidounAdBustersFUSEAMCA and The Arab Studies Journal.

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