Bagdad mon amour
Curator: Morad Montazami
Artistic director: Bérénice Saliou
Sherko Abbas, Latif Al Ani, Resmi Al Kafaji, Ali Assaf, Salam Atta Sabri, Julien Audebert, Dia Azzawi, Himat, Hanaa Malallah, Mehdi Moutashar, Mosul Eye Bureau, Michael Rakowitz, Jewad Selim, Lorna Selim, Walid Siti, Sharif Waked et Ala Younis.
The exhibition Bagdad mon amour is a reflection on the artistic strategies for the re-invention of the Iraqi cultural heritage ravaged by decades of wars. Predominantly from Iraq, the artists gathered here are trying to overcome the looting and destruction of museums and archeological sites, from Baghdad to Mosul. These phenomena, which already happened under Sadam Hussein, became systematic since the 2000’s following the second Gulf war conducted by the United States and their allies, and more recently with the cultural massacres carried out by the Islamic State terrorist group.
By revealing these artists’ protective impulse, which expresses in various forms of allegory, parody, archeology or montage, ¨Bagdad mon amour¨ conveys the utopian idea of a “museum without walls” in order to confront the Iraqi catastrophe. Far away from nostalgia, a constellation of modern and contemporary art pieces, of archives and nomadic signs, celebrate a surviving visual culture which resists obliteration. The growing anxiety generated by ghost objects, disappeared from the museums, gives way to the collective imagination, in order to sketch a possible renaissance of Baghdad, between gestures of preservation and re-invention.
© Photo. Marc Domage