Genealogy, installation view Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017-2018. Photo by Fred Dott.
When Tabet’s great-grandfather, Faek Borkhoche, died in 1981 he left behind a rug made from goat hair that had been given to him in 1929 by the Bedouins of Tell Halaf while working there as Max von Oppenheim’s secretary. It was his wish that the 20-meter rug should be divided equally among his five children with the request that they, in turn, divide it among their children and so on and so forth until the rug eventually disappears. As of today, the rug has been divided in twenty-three pieces across five generations. Tabet borrowed several of the fragments from his relatives and used linen replicas for the pieces where a loan was not possible.
The work reflects on the tradition of family heirlooms as shared stories by way of a metaphor that extends from a genealogical tree to an abstract mathematical composition.