“Dubai World III” (Gursky Photograph)

gurksy, Dubai World III

Andreas Gursky, “Dubai World III,” Photograph, 2008.

Gursky (b. Leipzig, 1955) studied at the Dusseldorf Art Academy and is known for his large scale prints and interest in world tourist sites.

This photograph references the controversial “Dubai World” project started by Nakheel Properties, which built artificial islands off the United Arab Emirates, with the ensemble in the shape of the world. Some 70% of these properties sold, but the 2008 financial bust and its aftermath has interfered with virtually any of the planned resorts going ahead, and some reports say that some of the islands are sinking back into the sea. The Dubai government has now taken over the project. Unless it recovers, “Dubai World” is more a warning against excess than a celebration of the UAE’s potential.

7 Responses

  1. How’s that go again?

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    The rich folks here in Florida build their castles on the sands of beaches and barrier islands, and when storms come and wash the excrescences away, us little people get to fund the “rebuilding” and that endless scam called “beach renourishment,” to “restore” for their delectation the changeable coastline that they don’t even have a legal claim to.

  2. Islands in Dubai’s famous Avarice Archipelago, that I wonder what they’ve got there:

    1. “Dubai” island. That’s where they put the reception office, right? (Or did they put themselves in “Mecca”?)

    2. “Israel” island. (Is there one?)

    3. “New Orleans” island.

    Strangely, “Siberian” islands are abundant (are these addresses really such a draw?), but “Mongolia” seems to be entirely underwater. I do however see a few that could be “Lhasa” or “Mt. Everest”–great shout-out to “Kevin Costner’s “Waterworld” and Roland Emerich’s “2012”!

  3. Dubai is a strange city. It’s like a three layered world, with the rich at the top, the locals in the middle, and the foreign workers at the bottom. This would have been a beautiful marvel of creation, but like the other grandiose creations in Dubai it has little soulful purpose.

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