This catalogue examines the strategies deployed by Iraqi contemporary artists to reinvent their heritage, after decades of wars. Focusing on archives, historical collections, and databases, these artists celebrate a visual culture that resists erasure. The publication includes a critical apparatus and detailed presentations of the artists.
The “exhibition documents” of Bagdad mon amour shed light on modern and contemporary Iraqi art in the wake of the looting of museums and archaeological sites that occurred in 2003, during the Second Gulf War. This post-traumatic investigation is an attempt to re-evaluate archives and historical collections through the museum without walls peculiar to artists, as well as the databases of Interpol and archaeologists. Drawing on such tools as the inventory, as well as studies of monuments and documents, these artists emerge with works that are anxious but ready to dance on ruins: works that carry within them both Iraq's phantom museum and its reinvented museum.
With Sherko Abbas, Latif Al Ani, Resmi Al Kafaji, Ali Assaf, Salam Atta Sabri, Julien Audebert, Dia Azzawi, Joanne Farchakh-Bajjaly, Himat, Hanaa Malallah, Mehdi Moutashar, Mosul Eye Bureau, Michael Rakowitz, Jewad Selim, Lorna Selim, Walid Siti, Sharif Waked, Ala Younis
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Institut des Cultures d'Islam, Paris, from March 23 to August 29, 2018.