PHILAE

Philae” is an excerpt of a long-term project on the Aswan Dam on the Nile River. The large-scale landscape and horizon alteration caused by the construction of the dam in 1970 forced a rearrangement of the surrounding area. This intervention caused the water level to rise, generating a new topography that threatened archaeological complexes with submergence. In response, UNESCO dismantled 22 of these landmarks either to be relocated to surrounding areas or granted to the foreign countries that helped with the rescue operations.

One of these archeological complexes is the Philae temple, which was completely dismantled and rebuilt on the nearby Agilkia Island. The temple turned into a transcripted (and therefore, altered) piece of historiography. Now considered a main touristic attraction, the temple has also been subject to structural interventions with sound and lighting systems added to host a nocturnal light and music show. The tracking of these interventions as well as the mapping of the new fictional perimeter of the site renders the temple a palimpsest. The temple is no longer itself, but a specular simulation.

ASWAN, EGYPT, 2017.