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Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Al Sawaber 3672, 2015–17, ink-jet print, 39 3/8 x 59".

Tarek Al-Ghoussein

The Third Line

Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Al Sawaber 3672, 2015–17, ink-jet print, 39 3/8 x 59".

Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s “K Files,” 2013, the result of an invitation to participate in Kuwait’s first national pavilion at the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale, is a series of photographs of key sites of nation building, from the iconic Kuwait Towers to its famous stock market—some now abandoned and in disrepair. His recent exhibition “Al Sawaber,” curated by art historian Salwa Mikdadi, was an in-depth photographic portrait of just one such site, the eponymous deserted government-housing complex in the heart of Kuwait City.

Organized around a series of green corridors, the complex’s distinctive stepped apartment blocks were designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson in 1977. But the project was a failure. Only 524 of the 900 proposed units were completed; planned communal and commercial amenities were never built. The individual apartments were deemed too small, and their layouts

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