“Touqous” comes from the arabic word for rituals.
This structure creates the context for a cleansing ritual inspired by the making and use of traditional olive oil soap in Palestine in addition to other cleansing and spiritual practices.
The materiality of iron and the action of pouring liquid and solidifying into a final form inspired the reference to the soap tower structures of Nablus in Palestine. The soap cubes are stamped and arranged in towers to dry for a few weeks in order to be usable. The structure of “Touqous” is now eternally solidified in iron as if perpetually activating its power.
With soap, the material is melted once again in order to cleanse a body. This association between dematerialising and cleansing is replaced in this petrified version by a more ethereal interpretation. The structure acts as an incense burner where smoke permeates the space between the cubes. Incense smoke has been used for thousands of years as a vector to connect with the divine. The cubes are covered in a relief of talismans meant to heighten different senses and emotions related to a human body. The talismans are activated by the smoke and release their power to fill the surrounding spaces and people with their medicinal effects.