Development & design by El–Sphere
Installation view at 56th Venice Biennale (2015)
Website screen capture
Mixed media and video/sound installation
Abidin Travels is a fake travel agency promoting exotic and adventure vacations to Baghdad. The agency presents two videos (animation and censored news foot- age) with references to the American occupation of Iraq in 2003. The agency exhibits posters, light boxes, brochures (tourist guides), a ticket-booking facility along side the mixed media installation, and a website that allows viewers to explore the piece virtually to book their one-way e-tickets.
Video #1 plays a real life montage of a censored news footage in Baghdad during and after the war narrated by a voice-over of an American woman welcoming visitors to Baghdad. The sound track of instruments played by American soldiers.
Video #2 plays an animated commercial that advertises a special offer to win a holiday in Baghdad. The ticket–booking facility allows the viewers to book and print their one-way ticket on site with their names printed and the country they wish to depart from.
The website is an interactive feature that invites visitors to book their flights after which an itinerary is sent to them via email. The free brochures and tourist guides provide necessary information and vital instructions about Baghdad.
The brochures are available in the following languages: Arabic, English, Chinese, French, Finnish, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish.
The posters are stills from video #1, printed on B2-sized paper and left in a pile for the viewers to take with them.
Video #1: duration: 00'02'00 min. (loop)
Video #2: duration: 00’04’33 min. (loop)
Round light box 90 cm diameter,title light box, 60 cm x 180 cm, brochures, posters, computer, printer