Collection 1970s–Present

Rania Ghosn, El Hadi Jazairy. After Oil (Bubian: There Once Was an Island). 2016 257

Inkjet print on canvas, 27 9/16 × 27 9/16 × 13/16" (70 × 70 × 2 cm). Fund for the Twenty-First Century

Architect, Rania Ghosn: My name is Rania Ghosn, and we're looking at After Oil. We live in cities, we consume energy. We ride cars, use electricity, public transport, but we rarely imagine the sites of production from which such energy sources are brought from. And the energy system has points of extraction for fossil fuels, points of transit, and moments of environmental disasters and oil spills.

So the After Oil project ​is a series of speculative drawings that thinks of these past, present and future through these three moments. The first project looks at the site of extraction. Das Island is a major Emirati offshore oil and gas industrial facility that has fueled the urbanization of Abu Dhabi and its sister emirate, Dubai.

The second project is the Strait of Hormuz Grand Chessboard. The Strait of Hormuz is a critical oil transit choke-point with around 20% of world oil trade moving through this 34-mile wide passage. So the Grand Chessboard repurposes the strait into a real estate territorial game-- imagine it somewhere between a Monopoly and Risk.

Bubiyan Island, or There Once Was an Island, is the third project. This island will be significantly threatened by rising sea levels. So the project proposes a series of vertical elements that are used to stabilize the ground and become small sanctuaries for the different forms of life that inhabit that island.

We will always imagine that there is possibly a far away, distant, remote uninhabited place, that can still bear the course of urbanization, while the city can only reap the most beautiful rewards. And it's precisely that that After Oil wants to counteract. It wants us to reflect critically on the time and space that we occupy now.

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