Ahmed Alsoudani (1975) – Irak » aa-49

« This painting grew out of Ahmed reading that after the fall of Saddam, Amerian and Iraqi troops discovered a much more extensive prison system throughout Iraq than they could have imagined.  In many cases children born in these prisons would live their entire lives in this environment and know nothing else.  In a sense this was the situation of life under Saddam in general.  Ahmed didn’t want to document that, of course, but in this painting he tries to capture the psychological moment when the prisons were liberated and people could emerge and evolve as humans.  The Bacon-like lamps hanging at the top of the canvas allude to this notion of shedding light on this systemic persecution; the cameras (one exploding) respresent the constant surveillance people were subjected to in this environment being destroyed.  In the center of the painting a small figure begins to emerge from an egg-like form and progresses within the painting to the lower-right foreground where it is emerging as a human form and leaving its shackles in the past.  The figure, like many of Ahmed’s figures that represent opppressed or subdued people, is very abstracted and without gender.  You will see that in many of the paintings figures of authority, oppression or absurdity are much more defined and eithe humorous or grosteque.  In the far background of the painting, in a dark cave and behind a fence is a sort of flesh-like and monstrous monument of destroyed human spirits and lives.  As in many of Ahmed’s paintings time is fragmented here and he is trying to portray a dynamic, changing, evolving event. » (Robert Goff)


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