This weekend will be your last chance to see Vancouver Biennale’s Paradise Has Many Gates. The thought-provoking public artwork by Saudi artist Ajlan Gharem is scheduled to come down on Monday, September 21st.
Unveiled in the summer of 2018 as part of the Vancouver Biennale, Paradise Has Many Gates embodies the Biennale’s mandate of public art as a catalyst for dialogue and social change.
By designing the structure in the form of a mosque, an Islamic sacred and community space, Gharem invited us to question the role of religion in society.
Over its 2-years at Vanier Park, the chain-link fence mosque came alive through the work of countless community partners and visitors, including a historic collaboration between Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Islamic weavers and designers.
Conceived to be used by community members to gather and exchange ideas, the installation hosted events, performances, poetry readings, prayers, dialogues, and school field trips including collaborations with the Indian Summer Festival, Museum of Vancouver, Maritime Museum, and the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies at Simon Fraser University.
The installation was the centrepiece of two community celebrations on Multicultural Day in 2018 and 2019 that brought together over 20 cultural groups from around Metro Vancouver around food, music, and dance.
Last modified: September 18, 2020