Conversations About Iraq

My friend Ben Brown has been on a very unique road trip. Essentially he is traveling around the country with a bombed out car from Iraq, parking it, and recording folks’ reactions. Here’s the summary from the site:

He [artist Jeremy Deller] will travel aboard an RV with Esam Pasha, artist and formerly a translator for the Chief Advisor in the British Embassy of Baghdad and for American forces around Iraq; and Jonathan Harvey, a veteran of the Iraq war and recently demobilized PSYOP specialist. They will park in public sites to hold conversations about Iraq. Visitors are encouraged to bring objects related to Iraq, and to participate in conversations with Pasha and Harvey.
Esam Pasha and Jonathan Harvey were selected by the artist, Creative Time, and the New Museum from a wide pool of applicants interested in the project. The destroyed car on view during the project’s installation at the New Museum will be placed on a flatbed trailer and hitched to the RV. As an artist who consistently privileges the concerns of social history, Deller is interested in providing a platform for discussion. The car on view in New York and on the road will be a visual aid to prompt open dialog and unrestricted conversation. When the project arrives in Los Angeles, it will be on view at the Hammer Museum until mid-May.

Here’s a video that Ben made along the way:

They’re nearing the end of their adventure, so be sure to check out the work. It’s an amazing and, in a lot of ways, overwhelming model of bringing many different art mediums, community dialogue, and documentary work together. It’s got my feminist wheels churning…what would it be like to do a similar road trip with an artifact from a bombed abortion clinic or a giant container of the 13,000 rape kits still untested in LA County?

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