adel abidin back to the future

Eleven inkjet print on stainless steel metal cut-outs and masking tape

By studying the Iranian sectarian paintings, especially the ones that were adapted by the Iraqi painters. Those paintings represent the Shiite Imams; however, they ended up being displayed as outdoors billboards & ad spreads around the city of Baghdad and became very similar to pop culture representations.

What instigated my interest during my study was the selection of the model supposedly representing an Imam. The same model was used in all paintings with minor adjustments to differentiate the twelve Imams.

I understood then that the choice of models here was irrelevant and negligible. The real significance to the posters’ composition was their surrounding events, elements and accessories.

Therefore, I decided to cut out those elements from the Iranian paintings, which I found of high significance, and display them in isolation from the actual ones. Throughout this process, some of the cut outs became ghostly, others looked like alluring goodies or just worthless objects.

When separating them from their environment, and printing them directly on 1mm stainless steel metal cutouts, they became independent visual elements (components) that can function on their own.

Since the web was the only source of visuals for my study, I had decided to keep the cut outs as I found them, in terms of resulution quality and looks.


Dimensions with the masking tape: 142 x 170 cm