15 x 10 cm
de Watertoren, Vlissingen the Netherlands, 1997
The Mosque of Cervaiola
One of the highest marble quarries in Italy, Cervaiola, was at the time owned and quarried by the renowned stoneyard Henraux, in Querceta. In the 1980’s, to service the production of a new air-conditioned mosque being built in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, vast quantities of marble were being removed from this quarry on the mountaintop. According to new environmental regulations established at that time, the profile of the mountaintop was no longer allowed to be changed, meaning that the marble could only be removed by excavating into the mountainside. This created an enormous cathedralic space on the mountain peak - ironically to build a mosque, a spiritual temple of another kind, in a land far away - by means of the first computerised production line for marble of its kind anywhere in the world. Having photographed and printed an image of this monumental cathedral - a spiritual space without dogma, except for the dogma of capitalism - I attached a homemade “sky-bandage” to the photograph, making a collage as a healing gesture and to bear witness to the complexities at play in these images, with the hope that somehow we might learn to thrive on this planet without demolishing ourselves in the process.