A video showing the dramatic painting of a mountain in Iraq as a performance by Ben Hodson and to reenact an original work by Ismail Khayat in 2000. Ben paints Peace for Luton on the side of the mountain to make a beautiful symbol for peace and hope for his home town of Luton, UK. Luton has suffered heightened tensions since the troops returned from Iraq in 2009.
As part of the exhibition I got local people to give their views of the work and how they felt about the work I had been showing in Luton and the rest of the UK.
I collected feedback at the exhibition and the general response was very positive. I have documented the English speaking interviews in this video. The gallery has now mounted the work and is touring it around a number of galleries and locations in the region. It was important that the subject of the exhibition was from Luton, this is both because it is where I live and because of the tensions the town is facing.
Jeremy Deller put the project together to encourage conversation about our world. The porject is a corner stone of the context for which I create my work and Deller's approach is one of the most inspiring and relevant to my practice.
The invasion of Iraq, and the continuing occupation, is that kind of war, too. It has released something in art: a rage, a sense of purpose, or perhaps just an extreme nihilism. Two years ago, in a London gallery, I could have sworn I had travelled back to the dada protests that rocked Berlin in 1919. Cardboard figures of US soldiers paraded through a scene spliced together from images of Iraq's war dead. These grotesque, but real, fragments had been found on websites and collaged into a furious installation by Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn. The pulverised bodies, photographed by soldiers for reasons that are hard to fathom, were barely recognisable as human.
Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, Tues 14th April 2009.
For videos I have watched about Deller's ambitious project follow this link:
This is the video from the portas pilot bid which I created as part of the town team.
Since I completed the project Iraq - Amna Suraka, a number of art initiatives have been using the space to defiantly show the culture that Saddum Hussain tried to stop.
As part of the MA we have been working on designing, branding and documenting this years Luton Science Fair.
Photos can be found here: http://www.lutonsciencefair.co.uk/
I have been looking at one of my long term favorite artists: Jeff Wall. These videos from the White Cube website demonstrate some of his work methodologies.