Laboratory Berlin is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition
project Artists in Dialog: My Dreams Have Destroyed My Life.
Some Thoughts on Pain on 28 April.
exhibition, the third in our ongoing series Artists in Dialog,
is a discoursive dialog between the Iraqi Swiss artist Al Fadhil
and the Palestinian-American artist Aissa Deebi, and explores the
complex ties between the personal and the political in the theme
Dreams Have Destroyed My Life. Some Thoughts on Pain was first
conceived by the artists during a common artist residency in Taiwan.
Both artists had lost brothers in respective conflicts in their
countries of origin. Al Fadhil has lost two brothers to the wars
in Iraq. One brother died in the Iran-Iraq war. Fadhil's father,
as the parent of a 'martyr,' were granted an audience with the dictator
Saddam Hussein, which was documented with a photograph.
younger brother Ahmed was killed during the civil war that followed
the American invasion of Iraq. After his death, Fadhil was contacted
by Jason Sagebiel, an American soldier who had known Ahmed. Sagebiel
is also a musician, who learned to play the traditional Arabic Oud
during his stay in the city of Kut, Iraq, and composed a a musical
homage. Fadhil will include a series of documentations, the photographs
of his father with Saddam Hussein, Sagebiel's song, photographs
of the family home by his younger brother Ahmed in the exhibition.
Aissa Deebi's younger brother Nasim died in Israeli police custody
in 1999. The medical report labeled the death a suicide, something
the artist and his family dispute. Deebi's works in the exhibition
will trace his and his brother's connection to the land they grew
up in. A series of holographic photographs will depict the route
from Deebi's childhood home near Haifa to the coast, a route Deebi
and his brother often took together when they were younger. The
superimposition of geography, memory and historical space come together
in Deebi's installation to form a palimpsest of the personal and
exhibition, a dialog of remembrance, focuses on both the artists'
personal experience of loss and the cultural aspects of mourning
and grief: Fadhil comes from a Shiite Iraqi family, whilst Deebi
is Greek Orthodox. Yet all three deaths have taken place within
the political and historical context of conflict.
My Dreams Have Destroyed My Life. Some Thoughts on Pain
seeks to locate the personal within the larger historical and social
currents that often overwhelm our lives.
May 1, 2011 at 3PM there will be a round table discussion on the
cultural and political changes taking place in the Middle East in
the wake of the current wave of protests. Aissa Deebi,
who teaches at the American University in Cairo and Al Fadhil
will be joined by Munira Khayyat (an anthropologist and PhD
candidate at Columbia University, New York) and Heiko Wimmen
(a political scientist and fellow at the German Institute for International
and Security Affairs in Berlin). (More
on the roundtable)
Al Fadhil is an artist working in multimedia and performance,
and is the initiator of the project 'Iraq Pavilion'. He is based
in Lugano and Berlin. Aissa Deebi is a new media artist and currently
an Assistant professor at the American University in Cairo
Deebi, Fish Hill, flip photography, digital print, 2011
Gwendolyn Schneider: Al Fadhil & Aissa Deebi bei Art Laboratory
Berlin und AhmedBasiony im Ägyptischen Pavillon in Venedig
Band XVII, Heft 3 - Sommer 2011, Titel: Umbruch in Arabien, Seite
in Al Akhbar, Beirut - 2011-7-5
und Drang: En Futuro -2011-7-9
in Zitty - 2011-4-5