The Tower of Infinite Problems (detail)
Polymer gypsum, steel, plaster, fibreglass, wood, polystyrene, cardboard, wax and paint
241.3 x 442 x 251.5 cm
Diana Al-Hadid is a Syrian-American artist who lives and works in New York. Her sculptures take ‘towers’ as their central theme, drawing together a wide variety of associations: power, wealth, technological and urban development, ideas of progress and globalism. They are also – both in legends such as the Tower of Babel, and reality, such as the horrors of the World Trade Centre attacks – symbols of the problems of cultural difference and conflict. Al-Hadid’s Tower of Infinite Problems poses as a toppled skyscraper. Made from crude materials such as plaster, Styrofoam, wax, and cardboard, her structure is a monument to human fallibility. Sprawling on the floor like an imaginary archaeological find, the sculpture places the viewer in a fictional role as futuristic observer, mourning the tragic follies of a past (our current) civilization. If viewed from the end, the two parts of the structure converge in an optical illusion, creating a spiral vortex suggesting a cyclical repetition of history.