Fan of Exaggeration
2007
An edition of 3 posters, offset printed (two flyposted for exhibition, one framed). 106 × 150 cm.

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Poster for an exhibition of new acquisitions in the National Museum of Iraq. Produced for Memorial to the Iraq War, ICA London.

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A Finnish curator recalls joining a consortium visiting Baghdad to advise on setting up a new collection, since The National Museum of Iraq had been looted – following a territorial gun battle between Iraqi and us forces in the galleries in 2003. Almost all of Mesopotamia’s rarest artefacts were taken, while others were conspicuously left behind to form the symbolic cornerstone of any new collection.

As well as bearing off-white self-titling, this airbrush drawing renders illegible the inscriptions of the Black Obelisk, the account of the deeds of King Shalmaneser III, and first pictorial record of an (subjugated) Israelite. (Though catalogued in the British Museum, the obelisk is recorded under the us Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as ‘Present, Missing or Stolen’ from the Iraq National Museum).