WE ARE ALL DYING: ABSTRACT
A COMMENT ON LUXURY LIVING IN THE REGION THROUGH THE LENSE OF MORTALITY
The Arabian Gulf region is now globally recognized for its wealth and extreme luxury living. “We Are All Dying” proposes a critical examination of the extravagant lifestyles within Qatar and their effects on the local community. Historically, the concept of death has been used to reflect on mortality and to consider the relevance and vanity of daily life. In today’s society, wealth and luxury are manifested in social media trends and digital displays of consumption, travel, fashion etc. By utilizing technologies to produce work that is either of a disposable or generative nature, this project aspires to communicate the irrelevance of material gain as well as emphasize the excess of wealth within the region. Furthermore, it aims to visually juxtapose luxury and death, implicating luxury living in the region as an existential concern.
It is without a doubt that consumerism has affected the world on a global scale. However, the relevance of luxury within the gulf region roots much deeper and different than it does the rest of the world. Taking Qatar as the lead example and reference, the cultural significance placed on reputation and the high levels of income per capita in the country due to natural resources are key components to this difference. Luxurious living links to reputation, making it personal; but also is a commonality due to the accessibility granted through high incomes and privileges.
Without even explaining such a thing luxurious living is visibly evident within the country, from the high number of luxury cars driven on the street to the variety of designer handbags, shoes, clothing and accessories constantly being displayed on people in any public space. Such a scenario calls into question the effect of such a lifestyle on the population. This project suggests that the results of this are mostly negative and wishes to explore the negative effects of luxury living through visual forms of luxury in the region.
These forms of luxury fall under the definition of material items. In this case, these material items are luxurious which means they perhaps make us feel better about ourselves or make our life easier. In a critical opposition to this, death is introduced to indicate the negativity in this lifestyle. This oxymoron of luxury living and death demonstrates the end of luxury or the end of ease in material gain within life. Death threatens such a lifestyle by stripping it of its core supply: life.