Written by Lena Kassicieh on Monday, October 2, 2017
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Adel Abidin 3

Adel Abidin’s ‘Parallel Reality’ features a performative video and sculpture that illustrates a true story that became a well-known urban legend.

The Jordanian legend has it that Ottoman soldiers, fleeing the aftermath of the Arab Revolt in 1916, hid gold coins along the Hijaz railroad. The legend claims that they marked their hiding spots in order to collect the gold upon their return to the area. This legend and the hopes that are associated with finding the gold were passed on from generation to generation. The search for the gold has swept across Jordan with great intensity over the last few decades, in some parts even resulting in the destruction of archaeological relics by treasure hunters. In ‘Parallel Reality’, the elusive gold actually makes up the train track itself.

The work was developed through a few phases, the first being searching for a location along the Hijaz rail way track. Adel then painted about 5 meters of the single rail track with a color that plays homage to the lost gold, and then dirtied it so it would appear aged. The exhibition features this display, along with a documentary-style video that tells the story that inspired this piece.

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