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Holiday in Baghdad 

Wednesday, Dec 12 2007
Adel Abidin's travel agency installation "Abidin Travels" is gruesome, sarcastic, and pretty funny. The artist, a Baghdad native, lives in Helsinki now. Imagine writing, of your hometown: "All the beautiful places that you might have read about have either been destroyed or looted. There really are no sights left." Ouch. Videos, brochures, and the tickets you print out yourself are accoutrements to the gallery space itself, in which signage and furniture re-create a cheapo travel agency promoting voyages only to Iraq's capital city. He overlays gory pictures with perky sayings like "Free sightseeing!" which really reminds us of the old Dead Kennedys song "Holiday in Cambodia," referencing the most war-torn area of the late 1970s, instead of the most war-torn area of the turn of the century. The exhibit comes direct from the Venice Biennale and is organized by the Montalvo Arts Center, where Abidin is an artist in residence.
Dec. 7-27; Dec. 31-Jan. 5, 2007

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Hiya Swanhuyser


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