Basalt Shards, installation view Sharjah Art Foundation, 2021. Photo by Shanavas Jamaluddin.
In 1943, during one of the nightly bombing raids on Berlin, Max von Oppenheim’s Tell Halaf Museum and most of the objects inside were destroyed; among them were artifacts made from basalt stone that shattered into 27,000 fragments. A reconstruction project started in 2001 at the Pergamon Museum where the shards were kept in storage. Since then, 26,000 pieces have been reassembled. 1,000 fragments were unable to be identified or matched against any object and still remain in storage.
As part of the Artists-in-Berlin residency program of the DAAD, Tabet gained access to the material while working with Dr. Nadja Cholidis and Dr. Lutz Martin, two of the main researchers involved in the conservation work of the Tell Halaf artifacts. By making rubbings of the unidentified shards, Tabet emphasizes the material traces of the loss of cultural heritage that might never be recovered while simultaneously proposing that a different form might emerge from the unidentified remains.
Classificationinstallations (visual works)
Mediumrubbings (visual works)
Medium Notes1,000 charcoal on paper rubbings, wooden pallets