You have until the end of this week to check out the remarkable exhibition Recent Projects on Baghdad and Montreal by American artist Michael Rakowitz at the SBC Gallery in Montreal, Canada. For the series of small sculptures titled The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, Rakowitz lovingly re-created the priceless artifacts which were looted from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad following the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. Constructed out of mundane materials such as cereal boxes, newspapers and magazines, they embody the profound tragedy of Iraq's plundered heritage, and are also a poignant criticism of America's role in the vanishing of an important part of Mesopotamian culture. Alongside the sculptures the artist placed small captions with quotes from art historians and curators commenting on the looting of the middle-eastern antiques: "The Iraq Museum in Bagdhad was broken into and most of its parts torn out." (Dr. Donny George) - "They knew what they wanted and rushed to get what was most salable." (William R. Polk) - "It is our shared history that's at stake, and, in the wake of war, one that is vanishing chapter by chapter." (Angela M. H. Schuster)
The soundtrack of a mid-eastern flavoured version of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" performed by the group Ayyoub permeates the air, complementing this exhibition's story of fire and loss.
Recent Projects on Baghdad and Montreal
exhibition period: May 13 - June 20, 2009