Guest Soap (2019) is a scale model of Al-Balad, made out of soap. Pondering the question of how concerted efforts to revive historic spaces ultimately affect them, Aziz Jamal has set out to create an interactive sculpture placed in an open space, which viewers are invited to touch, caress and play with as they use it to wash their hands. As the exhibition is played out, the soap model will continuously diminish and disintegrate, evoking notions of ephemerality and the effect human life and interaction has on the spaces and buildings it utilizes and occupies. Like its real life counterpart, the Guest Soap dissolves and deteriorates as time goes by, prompting viewers to contemplate questions on their
own accountability and role in the preservation or deterioration of their surroundings.
How do restoration efforts impact public spaces? To what extent do they benefit the public interest, and how can these efforts be made in such a way as to respect the heritage rather than to overtake or overwhelm it, changing its nature and characteristics? All these questions are brought to life in Aziz Jamal’s playful interactive time-based soap model of Al-Balad.