7 October 2019, 7 PM - 9 PM

After having left my home-country Iraq almost 18 years ago, what stayed with me is a pile of memories constructing my own identity as an Iraqi. Reliving and processing them caused distortion and deconstruction. Memories from my childhood became intangible. They lost their physicality, their existence in time. Memories were now fairytales to tell; they had abandoned their authenticity. People’s adding had changed them. They became myths.

Revisiting them feels like rewinding a tape cassette with a graphite pencil. Rotating the reel of time. Rewinding the memories had evoked a different meaning.

Investigating the intangible songs I used to hear and sing when I was a kid, I found odd connotations in them. I knew them as melodies of unknown sources — lullabies, which had become folksongs for children.

Researching them made me discover a change in perception. The lack of archival resources in Iraq had opened windows for different interpretations. Places and happenings had turned anecdotal. The context had turned them into traditions with new content.

Adel Abidin was born in Baghdad in 1973 and currently resides in Helsinki. He received a BA in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 2000 and an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Time and Space Art in Helsinki in 2005.
Abidin gravitates toward social situations dealing with elusive experiences and cultural alienation. He uses his cross-cultural background to create a distinct visual language, often laced with humour, sarcasm, and paradox.

Since his representation of Finland at the Nordic Pavilion in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), his work has been the subject of major exhibitions worldwide including the 7th Moscow Biennale, Moscow (2017); NGV Triennial – National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; 56th Venice Biennale (2015); 5th Guangzhou Triennial; 54th Venice Biennale, Iraq Pavilion (2011); 10th Sharjah Biennale; 17th Biennale of Sydney; 11th Cairo Biennial, (2009); 4th Gothenburg Biennale (2007).

Abidin has been represented in galleries worldwide, including Galerie Tanit, Beirut (2017); Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London (2013); Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai; Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul; Anne de Villepoix Gallery, Paris (2011).


This installation is part of Iraqisms, a series of artistic and cultural events, organised by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - Beirut Office in partnership with Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture and curated by Rasha Salah.

Location: Second Floor


Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Beirut Office

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