4 x 4 x 5 m
At first appearing as a concretion resting on water, The Day the Sand Caught Fire (2023) requires time, curiosity, and patience to fully appreciate its finer complexities. The eye discerns, perhaps, the remains of a drilling machine, the silhouette of one of Al-Ula’s colossi, or an altar from an ancient civilization. These anachronistic interpretations merge or try to reappear through these newly formed ruins, begging the question of what they once were and what they could be.
Ugo Schiavi here weaves together time and space, corrupting the distinction between the past and present, causing the creation of ever-evolving hybrids, ultimately heralding a new era and identity.
Continuing his series Gorgones (2022), he again performs the natural process of sedimentation. Sustained by artworks and objects from Riyadh, the desert around the Tuwaiq mountain, and other locations, The Day the Sand Caught Fire stands as an oddity from a time yet to come.
The day the sand caught fire, 2023 ©Ugo Schiavi
Commissioned by RCRC and Riyadh Art