4 min 3 s, colour, sound
Courtesy of the artist
Adel Abidin, an artist of Iraqi origin who currently lives and works in Helsinki, belongs to a generation of artists on the Arab cultural scene who have fled repression and war. Most of them live and work in European cities and their awareness is shaped by the counterpoint –though also by the critical distance – between the cultural and emotional traits of their country of origin and their new home. Jihad plays with an archetype we have seen a thousand times on television: a suspected Islamic terrorist armed to the teeth is filmed in a long take before the crescent moon flag announcing that he is going to sacrifice himself in the name of his faith. Abidin subverts our expectations and, in keeping with the archetype, he replaces the Kalashnikov with an acoustic guitar and the Islamic flag with the unmistakable stars and stripes. He starts reciting a verse from the Quran, but immediately sings This Land Is Your Land, by the American singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie (1945). To the visual shock of seeing the terrorist with a guitar is added the threat implicit in his saying ‘This land is my land’ standing in front of the American flag.
Istanbul’s Seaside Leisure: Nostalgia from Sea Baths to Beaches exhibition brought together photographs, magazines, comics, objects, and books from various private and institutional collections, and told a nostalgic story while also addressing the change and socialization of the norms of how Istanbulites used their free time. Istanbul’s Seaside Leisure was a documentary testament of the radical transformations in the Republic’s lifestyle.
He had imagined the court room as a big place. It wasn’t. It was about the size of his living room, with an elevation at one end, with a dais on it. The judges and the attorneys sat there. Below it was an old wooden rail, worn out in some places. That was his place. There was another seat for his lawyer. At the back, about 20 or 30 chairs were stowed out for the non-existent crowd.
Inspired by the exhibition And Now the Good News, which focusing on the relationship between mass media and art, we prepared horoscope readings based on the chapters of the exhibition. Using the popular astrological language inspired by the effects of the movements of celestial bodies on people, these readings with references to the works in the exhibition make fictional future predictions inspired by the horoscope columns that we read in the newspapers with the desire to receive good news about our day.
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