Saturday, April 4, 2009

IT IS WHAT IT IS: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT IRAQ




Artist Statement by Jeremy Deller, from www.conversationsaboutiraq.org:

"For the past 7 years I have been obsessed with events in the Middle East, principally Iraq.  It has been on my mind constantly, either at the forefront, or as a nagging buzz in the back of it.  No doubt it has had an effect on many decisions I have made and actions I have taken.  In that respect for better or worse it has changed me.  I suspect I can't be the only person to have felt this.
In the UK, military and civilian life is segregated.  It is not common to meet soldiers in everyday life and there are few Iraqi refugees given asylum in the country, so firsthand accounts are few and far between.  I have read a ton of books and articles about the war, but short of going to Iraq itself, there is no substitute for meeting someone who has actually lived there, or been there, hence the core part of this project.  In a sense I am selfishly doing this for my own benefit simply to plug the many gaps that exist in my knowledge and to satisfy the arguments that have been going on in my head for the best part of this century"

This exhibit just ended last week at the New Museum in New York, where there were people present in the gallery to speak of their very specific view or experience of Iraq.  Also on display and now travelling the US is a car destroyed in a suicide bomb attack on the crowded book market at Al-Mutanabbi street center in central Baghdad on March 5, 2007.  Thirty-eight people were killed and hundreds were injured.

The exhibit is not an anti-war statement, Deller makes it clear: "It's too late for that"




The above images arguably have unknown 'artists', so I won't be able to post their titles.   The first is a sort of illustrated guidebook on how to commit serious crimes, and the one below it appears to be a sort of random propaganda piece.  The car below travels with Deller for 'It Is What It Is', obviously, but was not 'created' by him.

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