Previously at the Venice Biennale and now in San Francisco’s Triple Base Gallery comes Abidin Travels - a new visual art installation by artist Adel Abidin and presented by Montalvo Arts Center. The art installation mimics a bare bones travel agency where the artist uses humor, sarcasm and irony, to invite visitors to explore the realities of life in Baghdad. Abidin Travels opens on Saturday, Nov. 17, with a public reception from 7 – 10 p.m.
In Abidin Travels visitors can expect to see things such as posters and brochures for trips to Baghdad; a kiosk for making online reservations and printing tickets; and a bitterly sarcastic promotional video, where Abidin blends a cheerful, American-accented female voice with disturbing video footage of destroyed buildings, looters and weeping women.
Abidin Travels is part of Montalvo Arts Center’s unprecedented program, IRAQ: REFRAME, a series of visual and performing arts and public programs now through April 2008. At a time when Iraq is primarily seen or thought of as a place of war and destruction, Montalvo taps the creative community to reframe perceptions of the country and its culture through programming that asks a myriad of internal and external questions. Please see related press release for more information on IRAQ: REFRAME at ww.montalvoarts.org/press.
“Part of Abidin’s unique approach is his ability to present intense subjects within visually arresting and highly accessible mediums,” said Rijin Sahakian, curator of IRAQ: REFRAME. “The realities of life in Iraq are presented with honesty that Abidin's unique sense of humor makes all the more visible and ultimately heartbreaking."
Abidin was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1973 and now lives and works in Helsinki. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in both Baghdad and Helsinki. He is currently in-residence at Montalvo through November.
Nov. 17 – Jan. 5, 2008
Triple Base Gallery
Gallery Hours: Thurs.–Sun. 12–5 p.m.