AboutIraqi artist Hanaa Mallalah talks to Mo Throp about her art on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
A recent exhibition at Chelsea College of Art entitled Ten Years After: Reflections on the invasion of Iraq set out specifically to explore the consequences of the decision by western politicians to invade Iraq in the belief that they held Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Hanaa Malallah presented new work with artists kennardphillipps and Mo Throp.
Hanaa Malallah has been a Visiting Fellow with Chelsea's Graduate School as a political refugee since she fled her post as Professor of Fine Art at Baghdad University following the invasion. She will be talking about the consequences of the invasion through her own experience as an artist and with reference to the work in the exhibition.
Malallah talks to Dr Mo Throp, artist and Associate Researcher with the Graduate School at Chelsea, Camberwell & Wimbledon Schools of Art.
Malallah states: 'to physically taste war is completely different than to experience it second-hand. The first lesson taught by physically tasting war is that ruination is the essence of all being: Death has no meaning and anything solid can be reduced to nothing in seconds. The learning of this process of vanishing, this morphing of matter to dust, of something into nothing, has led me to conclude that ruination, or destruction is hidden de facto in the phenomenon of figuration. Thus, for the last five years I have explored the space located between figuration and abstraction, between existing and vanishing, a concept which for me also holds deep spiritual meaning.
It is well known that the technical aspects of my practice include the burning, distressing and obliterating of material: I have termed this Ruins Technique. Clearly, this technique owes its existence to the lethal face of war. This does not mean that I am reproducing the idea of war. Instead I am utilizing its intrinsically destructive process to engender the visceral experience of the reality of war irrespective of its geographic/political particular.'