From Babel to the Burj Khalifa, towers serve as potent sites of collective memory and symbols of cultural change. The Syrian-born American artist Diana Al-Hadid, now living and working in Brooklyn, creates primarily architectural sculptures that oscillate between rigid modernist construction and slumping ancient forms. Al-Hadid’s works evoke structures from the Roman Coliseum to The Monument to the Third International and the World Trade Center as well as more organic waterfalls and forest flora more recently.
By primarily using rough materials such as plaster, cardboard, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum foil and upending her towers, Al-Hadid subverts the authority these structures normally hold, alluding to the cultural clashes such buildings have come to represent. The artist’s intricate works are a feat of engineering in their own right.