Dirndlmoschee [Dirndl Dress Mosque]
Based on the concept of the Nomadic Mosque (see Nomadic Mosque project description) the premise the Dirndlmoschee is the nomadic principle of assimilating certain characteristics of a place into one’s own context, whereas a mutual enrichment is achieved. The Dirndl, a traditional Austrian dress, is still worn in the every day life in some places in Austria, such as in the little town of Strobl at the Wolfgang Lake. The Dirndlmoschee can be transformed into an Islamic prayer environment that provides a prayer space for three people. The dirndl’s apron is made out of a water-resistant material that can be unfolded into three connected prayer rugs. In the mosque configuration, the traditional shoulder scarf opens up into a veil. The silk decoration at the scarf edge playfully references a person’s hair, which is actually hidden by the veil. The belt carries a compass with a carabineer attached, from which prayer beets on ropes are hanging. The prayer beets are decorated with Swiss knifes, locally found souvenirs from which the crosses were not removed, but re-symbolized as a decoration. The project involved a prayer performance in various public spaces, as well as a communication with local Turkish immigrants. Although not willing to participate in the prayer, the Turkish women showed interest in the Dirndlmoschee as a product. The project video documents my daily prayer at the symposium site, – unfolding of the wearable mosque and the prayer on the pre-existing landscape sculpture in shape of concentric circles, which can be understood as a reference to Mecca. This situation also represents a reference to the famous unfolding renaissance Pacher Altar located in the neighborhood town of St.Wolfgang.
Azra Akšamija, Dirndlmoschee [Dirndl Dress Mosque], 2005
Mixed media (re-designed Austrian traditional dress, video 5min)
Place: Stobl, Austria. Produced within the International Artist Symposium Ortung 2005 in Strobl, Austria/ Organized by Landesregierung Salzburg, symposium led by Gottfried Goiginger. Concept, idea and design: Azra Akšamija, International Patent Pending. Collaborators:Munira and Ibrahim Akšamija. Project photographs: Rahkeen Gray and Azra Akšamija. Thanks to: Major of Strobl, Veronika and Peter Hitzl, participants and organizers of the symposium Ortung 2005, who advised and informed the project development.