Wrestling, by Polly Tootal, is from her ongoing series The Hands That Built This City, which documents the daily lives of the men who live in the UAE’s labour camps, in all its banality and complexity. The labourers, brought in to prop up Dubai’s infrastructural aspirations are often enticed with false promises of prosperity, only to end up earning meagre wages and living in crowded accommodations with no proper plumbing.
This seminal book is brings together 5 bodies of work, inspired by both early 18th century evocations of the sublime and contemporary pictorial traditions.
But for all its historical evocation, the photographs in this publication are fraught with anxieties about ruin.
In study that goes beyond mere documentation, this publication brings us a poignant commentary on the financial ruin and bankruptcy that struck the lives of many thousands of people, in the wake of the 2008 sub-prime crisis in the USA.
This dypthic was produced in the context of the artist’s latest project What Photography & Incarceration have in Common with an Empty Vase, a project which results from a collaboration with inmates, incarcerated in the West Midlands, their families and a myriad of other individuals and community groups in the region.