HOLDING PATTERN I
3 Channel Video-Installation
Commissioned by SHARJAH ART FOUNDATION
During WWII, a Royal Air Force pilot flying from Southern Oman lost his way, having expended most of his fuel, and found himself hovering above the Empty Quarter. Realizing that he was running out of time, the pilot searched for a landmark to orient himself and spotted what looked like a small town. When he realized that the town was inhabited and that he could not land his aircraft, he continued his journey and landed near Sharjah. While there, he recounted his story to another RAF pilot called Raymond O’Shea who became fascinated by the pilot’s sighting and who became one of the many Western adventurers to have embarked on expeditions to find the lost “utopian” city of Ubar.
After many failed expeditions, the town was speculated by some to be Iram, which was the site of an important oasis and said to have been located on the Frankincense trade route that provided much of the trade of spices and other goods from the Indian Ocean to the Levant. Others speculated that the lost city was Iram, a city mentioned in the Quran That housed the ancient people of Ad whose wicked ways had led them to be punished by God.
By engaging with the pilot’s sighting of the lost city of Ubar, Dogrusoz proposes an immersive video/sound installation based on a triangulation of spatial archaeology, geological formations, popular legends, and post-colonial expeditions.