The Common Sense
Around the Coyote
Ahmed’s first solo exhibition consisted of the construction of a functioning mosque inside of the gallery. The years of following the 9/11 attacks, the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the anti-war movement became saturated with culture that mobilized both democratic and religious motives to no end.
Starting from this point Ahmed attempts to use this dense material to construct artworks. The installation steps back from the definite to allow viewers to complete the forms through their familiarity. An arcade system of archways meet only in the air and in the mind. The form of the black cube is pulled in two different and even oppositional directions evoking both David Smith’s minimalist sculptures and the Holy Kaaba in Mecca.
The entire installation is made of construction materials. Muquarnas vaults, thought to be the only true invention of Islamic architecture, grow from insulation foam on columns. Polysterene cinder blocks render the message of “play with fire and get burned” to anyone who can see it. The capacity to read these forms brings into focus the latent universalized sensibility.
A review of the exhibition by Marco Torres was published in the first issue of the Platypus Review, a publication dedicated to bringing to bear the history of the radical Left on the present. Ahmed is a founding member of the Marxian organization.