SALAT (2016)

In Salat (2016), the camera witnesses prayer at Birmingham Central Mosque. As a female filmmaker access to the Mosque during prayer was not allowed. There were also strict rules to follow when filming; the camera was not permitted to film in front of the people praying, nor could it show their faces. Subsequently, the CMR was constructed to film from above, at a constant speed from the entrance to the Mihrab. The camera-motorized rig was assembled in the empty prayer space to represent an experience that could not be gained first hand. This film is then projected back into the physical site using the same motorized rig, which allows the film to be played back at the same speed as it was recorded. Therefore, instead of the projected image moving across the ground, it appears to reveal the individual prayer mats of the mosque carpet and worshippers underneath.

The projected image of the prayer mat matches the scale/proportions of the architectural site. As the pre-recorded footage of people in prayer is projected back into the architectural space, it maps the exact scale/proportion of the site. This prompts the audience to question what is real and what is illusion. This sense of illusion is strengthened as the projection image physically moves through the architectural space; the experience becomes spectacular in nature. It can be argued that this engagement with the spectacular is exactly what helps draw the spectator’s attention to their relationship with the architectural site and, specifically, perception of place.

Documentation of filming, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Documentation of filming, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Detail of moving projection, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Detail of moving projection, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Documentation of moving projection, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Documentation of moving projection, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Documentation of moving projection, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Documentation of moving projection, Birmingham Central Mosque.

Salat, single screen with sound, 02'02", 2016.