"Art can serve as a universal lexicon. In this sense, it has no cultural boundaries and can be heuristically discussed.
It is difficult to make comment on an event, which was not experienced first-hand. It is problematic to assume cultural knowledge or understanding of the devastation felt by people directly affected by the al-Mutanabbi Street car bomb. Additionally, it is almost impossible to measure the impact it will have on future generations.
Instead, this work serves to remind and stimulate deeper consideration. It aims to encourage us to learn, discover, question and increase awareness of what has been lost forever, on our own terms.
In 2009 Jeremy Deller began to draw attention to the atrocities of the Iraq war by touring the remnants of the car bomb which blew up the main book-selling street of Baghdad. To many, al-Mutanabbi Street seemed far away from everyday living.
By putting the vehicle back on the road, so unrecognisably compounded and disfigured by a bomb, he aimed to increase awareness of the realities of war, targeting the voyeurs who had been observing through the safety of the media.
This responsive piece of work is a focus for discourse, drawing attention to the devastating attack on cultural life, intellectualism and power. It stands as a metaphor for the rich historical knowledge lost and acts as a cenotaph to the absent lives.
By presenting the work in a typical museum display box, the artist aims to promote a feeling that this is a time capsule - the significance of which is never to be forgotten."
Material: Childs Toy Car and Trailer, Pages from an ‘unwanted book’, Perspex Case.
|Original Trailer by Jeremy Deller with original car bomb|