Tunnel is a single-channel video that the artist has manipulated from a video shot in the longest tunnel in the Makkah mountains (Almaskhota Tunnel), which leads to Al Haram. The looping of the video gives it an infinite-like quality that is both meditative yet tense. Al-Salem uses the tunnel as a literal metaphor for transition and the indefinite feeling of liminal spaces. The site-specific work is displayed in an opening in the Wadi Namar dam, lending it a trompe l’oeil effect and providing an appropriate context for the work. Even though the video is edited to omit everything but the tunnel’s bright neon lights, the stark darkness of the footage renders the purpose of the lights difficult to recognise and their pattern ultimately abstract.
Tunnel, 2023 © Suliman Alsalem
Commissioned by RCRC and Riyadh Art