Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal is almost finished with his instillation/residency, Domestic Tension, at FLATFILEgalleries in Chicago. He's been living in the gallery and at the mercy of web surfers who take aim at him online since May 4th. The virtual paintball game is intended to draw attention to the constant lack of stability and security that are the hallmarks of life in Iraq these days. He'll leave the studio Monday, June 4 at 5pm CST. Go take a look.
I find Bilal's installation a dramatic yet effective communication about the current events in Iraq. Unfortunately, I am continually troubled by biased media: one side says peace is imminent, the other paints a horrid war zone; one side says the US is loved, the other says the US is reviled. As an American citizen who attempts to stay as current as daily life allows, it is difficult to know if there can be truth reported from Iraq. Maybe there isn't the one story or one tag line that we all desire. Maybe in a sense it is all true. Then again maybe it is all false.
With the "Information Age," our predicament is no different from those of us at the turn of the previous century with privately owned newspapers and dramatic stories written for the purposes of promoting sales.
I guess history does repeat itself.
Kudos to Bilal to find a method of expression around the oppressive media.
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