Qais Al Sindy, Ashes of the Treasure, 2007 . Courtesy of PowerHouse Arena.
A benefit exhibition for the Iraq Veterans Against the War at Powerhouse Arena
$10 donation at the door
Art created in response to the two concurrent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be presented at Powerhouse Arena in the exhibition 2,191 Days and Counting from March 5th, 2009 through March 22nd, 2009. Works will include James Nachtwey’s photograph from “The Sacrifice,” David Opdyke’s installation “Freedom,” Joyce Kozloff’s sculpture “Rocking the Cradle,” a Martha Rosler photomontage and Joan Snyder’s painting “Iraqi Woman and Her Children”, along with pieces by veterans, Iraqi artists and emerging artists.
One kilogram of ashes from burnt books collected from the library at the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad lies in three glass cylinders, on which Qais Al-Sindy, a 42-year-old Iraqi artist, etched calligraphy verses from a poem about death and renewal. Al-Sindy, who now lives in San Diego, also created a video of the burning of the precious historic collection which he witnessed in 2003.
Drew Cameron, a 26-year-old Army artillery soldier now living in Burlington, Vt., cut up his uniform, turning it into pulp paper, on which he depicted a degraded image of his memories of Chinooks and Apaches landing in the desert at sunrise (he launched “Combat Paper Project,” a series of workshops which have helped 65 other vets from different wars “deconstruct” their uniforms and synthesize their war experiences in art). “The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms,” he says.
All proceeds will be donated to the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Winter Soldier Project inspired by the courageous Vietnam veterans who came forward in 1971 to testify at the original Winter Soldier investigation. IVAW is collecting soldiers’ firsthand accounts of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All veterans are invited to give testimony, regardless of their politics. The project will provide them with legal and mental health support. Members of IVAW will be present at the reception.