Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Strike the Empire Back, exhibitions at Tate Modern

At the Tate for a workshop on how to talk about your work, run by Emerge and Shape. info here Very useful, I took a brief look in some of the galleries and at Michael Rakowitz's exhibition, Strike the Empire Back.
The exhibition posed the influence of science fiction on the American and Iraqi military, especially Star wars. Michael Rakowitz took the symbol of the arch, crossed swords, used in Iraq and made his own arch in the gallery the swords are now light sabers and helmets at the base are cast in resin with components from action men. Review here.

Rakowitz writes that In 1995, Saddam Hussein's son Uday presented his father with a prototype helmet that was an exact replica of Darth Vader's, for the Fedayeen Saddam,( a paramilitary organization responsible for assassinations and intimidation.)

After the fall of Baghdad in 2003 paintings by Science fiction illustrators were apparantly found in Saddam's palaces, including the poster for the 1980 Star Wars sequel.

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