The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist
14.9 – 17.11 2019
In the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, somewhere north of 8,000 art objects disappeared when the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad was looted on several occasions. This doesn’t just represent a national loss, it represents a loss for all mankind, as Michael Rakowitz puts it. Since 2007, this American-Iraqi artist has been working on recreating these lost historical objects using commercial packaging and empty cans for Middle-Eastern products that are available for purchase in the USA.
Because of the atrocities of the authoritarian and religious Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, the artist also uses these same methods to recreate statues and art objects from archaeological dig sites that ISIS has intentionally, systematically destroyed in recent years. Rakowitz’s projects and series of works share the common title The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist. From 2018 to 2020, a sculpture from this project will be the most recent addition to The Fourth Plinth, an exhibition series at Trafalgar Square in London.
In 2019, Malmö Konsthall will be presenting Room N, Northwest Palace of Nimrud (2018). This is a series of reliefs, which used to be in an Assyrian palace, and which were discovered during archaeological excavations at the historical city of Nimrud, which is south of Mosul. The city was razed and demolished by ISIS in 2015.
Michael Rakowitz was born in 1973. He lives and works in Chicago.
Bild: Michael Rakowitz. The invisible enemy should not exist, 2018. Beställd av Mayor of London Fourth Plinth Programme. Foto: GLA/Caroline Teo.