Deep Excavation

We are very pleased to announce Al Fadhil’s first solo exhibition Deep Excavation at Katharina Maria Raab Galerie.

The exhibition’s title Deep Excavation explains how the artist works. Al Fadhil’s approach is similar to that of an archaeologist, excavating an object, identifying it and revealing the personal and collective memories embodied in it. He reconstructs and recounts.

Al Fadhil’s works frequently deal with topics from Iraq’s recent history, based on personal experiences or his own family history. The video Yassin, named after the artist’s uncle, shows the dramatic changes taking place in Iraq, accompanied by critical commentary. The wall mural My dreams have destroyed my life, based on a letter from the artist’s brother who died in 2002 during the US-Iraq war, illustrates the destruction of a life’s dream. Al Fadhil demonstrates how political systems influence and determine the private sphere, how dreams are destroyed and hopes crushed.

The work Ishtar is to be seen as a reaction to recent global political developments, upheavals and conflicts. The artist exhibits an updated version of a Babylonian goddess to contrast with a detailed reproduction of its antique predecessor: Where once the goddess regarded the world with open eyes, trusting in the harmony of the cosmos, in the artist´s version her eyes are now closed in the face of political and social developments. She cannot and does not want to see the suffering.

Al Fadhil was born in Iraq in November, 1954. He attended the Institute of Arts in Baghdad, from which he graduated in 1977. After completing his studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Florence, Italy, he began to practice as an artist at the beginning of the eighties. From the beginning of the nineties, he has been drawn towards social, political and economic themes, in the spirit of a new awareness of the communicative and political force of art.