Orthostates, installation view daadgalerie Berlin, 2017. Photo by Jens Ziehe.
During Max von Oppenheim’s initial excavation at Tell Halaf in 1911, he discovered along the back wall of the palace a sequence of 194 orthostates. The slabs had been carved in low relief. They alternated between black basalt and red-painted limestone to form a narrative frieze of imagery including animals, plants, deities, and scenes from daily life. One hundred years later, several are now lost, destroyed or divided among several museums worldwide. During his residency in Berlin, Tabet started an ongoing project to make rubbings of the existing and available orthostates.
So far, he has managed to copy twenty-four of the fifty-nine that are held at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the four that are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, two of the four that are held at the Louvre in Paris and two of the four that are in the collection of the Walters Museum in Baltimore. A complete list of the 194 orthostates is presented above the framed rubbings, and highlights their current location, material, and the motif depicted on them.
Classificationinstallations (visual works)
Mediumrubbings (visual works)
Medium Notes32 framed charcoal on paper rubbings, vinyl on wall