Because there was and there wasn't a city of Baghdad

Because there was and there wasn't a city of Baghdad

Location:
Windsor, ON, Canada
Alternate title: 
Bagdad Billboard
Artwork creator(s): 
Hassan, Jamelie
Text author(s): 
Hassan, Jamelie
Installation year: 
1990
Remarks on location: 

JC Teron Co. commercial billboards

Description: 

This work features a photograph Hassan took on her first visit to Baghdad, Iraq, in the late 1970s, when she studied Arabic at the University of Mustansyria. The photo shows the colourfully tiled dome and minaret of the Haidar Khan mosque, and the text evokes Arabia's literary traditions as exemplified in 1001 Nights.

Text of the artwork: 

Because… there was and there wasn’t a city of BAGHDAD ---

 

[Other text on the panel's artwork]

IN CONTROL --- SPONSORED BY: ARTCITE (WINDSOR) ARTIST…JAMELIE HASSAN

Text theme: 
Image of the (old) city of Baghdad and Iraqi culture in the West, destruction of heritage in Iraq
Artwork theme: 

(Biased) media coverage of the 1991 Iraq war (Gulf War), reliability of information media, barbarism

History: 

Event: In Control, billboard project by artists, organized by ARTCITE, Windsor, ON. Commissioner: Lorenzo Buj.
Date : June 15-August 4, 1991


Event: Outdoor Art Tour, an event organized by the Morris and Helen Belken Art Gallery, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, BC. Work located downtown Vancouver, at the corner of Richards and Pender Streets. Date : 1991 or 1992?


Event: exterior walls of the Morris and Helen Belken Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC 


Event: Signals in the Dark: artistic practice in the shadow of war, organized and circulated by the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Mississauga, 2008 (Curator: Séamus Kealy)
Date: Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Mississauga, January 17 - March 2, 2008, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, August 29 - October 11, 2008

Note(s): 

"Hassan conjures and immediately cancels the fabular city of Thousand and One Nights. The text accompanies, overlays, an image of the Haydar Khanah mosque, built in the nineteenth century, standing on the Eastern Bank of the Tigris, near the Abbasid palace, in a city founded in AD 762 (Christian Calendar, of course). The inscriptions from the Koran running along the top of one wall, the turquoise tiles of the dome, clearly standing out against the celestial blue, as if, in the aftermath of Desert Storm, she must oppose architectural grandeur and reveal truth to a campaign that would use nature as a metaphor for its murderous machinations. Thus bringing us to contemplate a cultural, religious, and no doubt racial gulf in the Western understanding of the 'Orient'." (Reference: Edward Said)


-- Lorenzo Buj, from the catalogue essay to IN CONTROL

Document(s): 

In Control. Various Locations. Windsor, Ontario

Cronin, Ray (1991).  In Control. Various Locations. Windsor, Ontario. Fuse Magazine . vol. 15, no. 1/2, p. 56

Signals in the Dark : Art in the Shadow of War

GROYS, Boris, Séamus Kealy, Gene Ray, Brigitte van der Sande (2008).  Signals in the Dark : Art in the Shadow of War. Mississauga/Toronto : Blackwood Gallery/Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

The art of Jamelie Hassan

Deitch, Esther Lee (1994).  The art of Jamelie Hassan. Matriart. vol. 4, no. 2, p. 6-11

Aldin’s Gift

Hassan, Jamelie (1996).  Aldin’s Gift. North York : Art Gallery of York University, p. 47

War Zones

Henry, Karen, Karen Love (2000).  War Zones. North Vancouver : Presentation House Gallery, p. 119

Exhibitions. Outdoor. Jamelie Hassan. Because…there was and there wasn’t a city of Baghdad

Art_Gallery (2008).  Exhibitions. Outdoor. Jamelie Hassan. Because…there was and there wasn’t a city of Baghdad. <http://belkin.ubc.ca/outdoor/> : Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Billboard. Art on the Road. A Retrospective Exhibition of Artists' Billboard of the Last 30 Years

Heon, Laura Stewart, Peggy Diggs, Dorin Lisa (1999).  Billboard. Art on the Road. A Retrospective Exhibition of Artists' Billboard of the Last 30 Years. Cambridge : MIT Press; North Adams, p. 106