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Food for Thought - Al Muallaqat

2013
Maha Malluh

In this installation Maha Malluh (b. 1959) turns aluminium pots used by women to cook traditional goat stew into a visual poem. Blackened by the flames of repeated cooking, they bear the traces of their history, but also of the stories told during meals by a formerly nomadic people with a tradition handed down orally. The subtitle Al-Muallaqat, which means “the hanging pots”, refers to the pots attached to the wall but also to the seven pre-Islamic odes of the Jahiliyya or “Age of Ignorance”, the sources of classical Arabic poetry. The finest speakers among the poets engaged in verbal tournaments at fairs in the Makkah (Ukadh) region and were granted the honour of being allowed to hang their poems, inscribed in letters of gold, on the Kaaba.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Mohamed Somji/ Seeing Things

Artwork Details

Artist:  Maha Malluh
Title: Food for Thought - Al Muallaqat
Geography: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Date: 2013

Medium: eleven burnt cooking pots

Classification: installation
Dimensions: 190 x 240 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2016.013
Contact for images: images@louvreabudhabi.ae

Permalink: www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/explore/highlights-of-the-collection/food-for-though

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