This is a series of photographs taken of riverboat restaurants on the Dubai Creek on a sweltering Friday in June 2014. They speak variously of thresholds, real and imagined borders, of trade routes, travel and displacement. The boats are in various states of repair and the degree to which the promenade in front of the boats is furnished varies quite widely. Some elements recur: columns, lanterns, maitre d’ stations, carpet runners and rope barriers, some with container planting, some with historical and theatrical props. All are calculated and arranged to provide a sense of occasion which elevates the experience of dining into something beyond the everyday. Seen during the heat of the day, abandoned and unused, these assemblages are invested with a degree of affective pathos.
Nick de Klerk works in architecture in London, and trained both in the UK and South Africa. He has spent a much of his professional career working between the two countries and thinking about displacement in one form or another. Nick has had writing published in Building Design, The Inkling and the Architect’s Journal and collects published work, photo essays and other pieces of writing at https://explodedviews.wordpress.com. @nick_deklerk.