The Name of the Flower
Sample pages from 100-leaf Art Book. Uses the Ruins Technique: Efforts to give form not only to the damage suffered by the city in which she lived but also to the collateral disfigurement of its aesthetic tradition, her works are themselves in her words, ‘ruins,’ ‘piles of forms’… In the 1990s, when Iraq was sealed by sanctions and its artists isolated in surreal conditions of material privation and dictatorial censorship, Iraqi artists reengaged the textual arts of the Abbasids and the sculptural arts of the Assyrians and Babylonians in a fresh dialogue of forms. A new medium appeared in this dialogue, in the form of a book called a daftar, Arabic for ‘notebook’ - the kind of text open to an ongoing documentation of contingencies. The Name of the Flower is a daftar… the piece is a ruin of an old Arabic manuscript on plants, a manuscript that has been cut up and reassembled into pages, not according to the logic of the text but according to the shape of its fragments… Excerpt taken from: Saleem Al-Bahloly, Sophisticated Ways in the Destruction of an Ancient City: curatorial note, Qui Parle, 17.2 (2009) 103-4.
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Photography by Tim Pestridge and Seán Goddard.