Flocking Mosque creates a prayer space in the form of a rug made of little textile pieces, which can be used as slippers and hanf pillows, facilitating Islamic ritual prayer by providing a clean space. The rug is used during the five daily prayers, a crucial pillar of the rules Muslims observe known as the ‘Pillars of Faith.’ The project takes its visual inspiration from the decorative details visible on various religious monuments in Islamic societies. The project juxtaposes geometric patterns with the patterns of worshipper behavior. The art of geometric patterns in Islamic cultures can be understood as the unifying intermediary between the material and the spiritual world, which expresses the logic and order inherent in the Islamic vision of the universe. On the one hand, the infinitely repeating patterns can represent the Islamic doctrine of Unity expressed in multiplicity. On the other hand, they are based on strict mathematical rules, which symbolize the unchanging laws of God. One ‘flower-circle’ of the Flocking Mosque can accommodate prayer for twelve worshippers at a time. It provides clean surfaces for those body parts that touch the ground during the prayer ritual, materially functioning as a prayer rug in the most minimal of senses. Each flower-circle consists of twelve pairs of slippers, twelve pairs of hand-pillows, twelve head-pillows, and a center bag with twelve prayer beads. The use of these pillows as ‘mini prayer rugs’ resonates with religious rules of behavior around the world. Additionally, the flower-circle as a whole is reminiscent of the ‘evileye,’ an amulet in different cultures.
Azra Akšamija, Flocking Mosque, 2008
textile, mixed media
Produced for the group show manifeSTATION / Manifesta 7 / 19 July – 02 Nov. 2008 / Curated by Andreas Spiegl and Christian Teckert (Office for Cognitive Urbanism). Prototype development: Azra Aksamija and Ismata Kratovac. Production / Sewing: “Plasman” d.o.o. Sarajevo. Thanks to: Project producers, Alma and Meliha Hadžiosmanović