HWBMx7: Tiles

Haseeb Ahmed and Daniel G. Baird
Presented at Harlan Levey Projects

For the past five years artists Haseeb Ahmed and Daniel G. Baird have worked on the project “Has the World Already Been Made?” In October they will show the seventh iteration of their project at Leeds College Museum of Art previewed first at Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels. It is composed of a frieze and a mosaic.

This frieze is a fragment of a façade from a structure Ahmed and Baird are realizing that is at least as big as the world. Only one element appears on the frieze. However, it may contain the whole of this massive façade. The element is a replica of a corner of the exterior of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The Mosaic is composed of elements that Ahmed and Baird have collected from all over the world with silicone molds, then 3D scanned, 3D cast, and printed at the scale of building blocks. The elements that span the globe all come within hands reach to construct new realities.

The project was initiated by making a mold of an ornament on the Natural History Museum in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Since then Ahmed and Baird have made molds from locations around the world using architectural conservation techniques generating an ever-growing sculptural inventory from which the artists draw. A horse head from a Moscow monument, a bust of a Priest-King from the Indus Valley, Pakistan, and a perforated metal building surface from Minneapolis all collaborate to create universalized installations.

The artists have digitized each of the elements in their archive by a 3D scanning process. By bringing these elements into the virtual realm their physical properties and scale are freed to morph and reproduce anywhere and anytime rather than be tethered to their place of origin.

Key to their work is a concept of replication, the Latin root of which is plico, meaning to fold or double up. Each of their artworks collapses large geographic and temporal distance.

Some Process: