09 May, 2009

Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal, artist (IQ/US)

Bilal grew up under the repression and violence of the Baathist regime in Iraq and considers himself a political artist, dealing with war and oppression, and the Iraqi experience. Bilal's 2007 dynamic installation ‘Domestic Tension’ placed him on the receiving end of a paintball gun that was accessible online to a worldwide audience, 24 hours a day. Newsweek called the project “breathtaking” and the Chicago Tribune called the month-long piece 'one of the sharpest works of political art to be seen in a long time.' He is assistant professor at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Domestic Tension
Wafaa's Video blog during the project
click here to view


Virtual Jihadi

In the widely marketed video game Quest for Saddam, players fight stereotypical Iraqi foes and try to kill Saddam. Al Qaeda did its own take, creating an online video game using the structure of Quest for Saddam but adding a new "skin" to turn the game into a hunt for Bush: "The Night of Bush Capturing." Now artist Wafaa Bilal has hacked the Al Qaeda version of the game to put his own more nuanced spin on this epic conflict.


Apparently the exhibition was closed down and interestingly some of the videos appear to have been taken down also

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