In a new expo, over 250 artworks item the devastating effect of war on Iraq, something its curators accept has not been addressed culturally until now
As you walk into Moma PS1 in Queens, New York, tourists are responded with an unlikely wall sculpture- the CNN logo at the end of an oversized gold chain.
It’s great for a selfie op, but there’s a deeper meaning to the artwork, created in 2002 by Thomas Hirschhorn. CNN played a pivotal role in speed up the 24 -hour news coverage of the Gulf war, preparing the pace for struggle news.
This artwork is being shown as part of Theater of Activity: the Gulf Wars, 1991-2011, peculiarity over 250 artworks by 75 masters. It details the shocking, gruesome effects of war, as told by western and Middle Eastern artists.
” We realise there hasn’t been a major sketch of Iraqi art in the US ,” said Peter Eleey, who co-curated the exhibition with Ruba Katrib.” Everyone wants to talk about the current conflict, but this conflict has been going on for 30 times. We’re looking at what an creator on one side of an issue attains, versus another, sometimes on the same event .”
With the recent killing of the Isis ruler Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and with US units leaving northern Syria and being deployed in eastern Syria, America’s armed presence is as topical as ever. But for the artists who lived in Kuwait and Iraq in the 1990 s, what was it like to live through such fright?
” It’s timely but likewise belated, because this has not been addressed culturally ,” said Katrib.” Iraqi art has not been addressed; Iraqi cultural production hasn’t been addressed either. But the US has been caught in Iraq for three decades, so why has there been such a lack of representation, interest, or epoch and opening given to Iraqi culture production ?”
Good question. While America is slowly warming up to Middle Eastern art and culture( a new not-for-profit in Washington dedicated to Middle Eastern art opened in September, while an exhibit of female Iranian creators is opening next week at the High Line Nine in New York ), the 1991 Gulf war’s devastating effects has yet to be fully explored within prowes- at least that which has been shared with a wider western audience.