adel abidin history wipes

Mixed media & one channel video installation

History Wipes consists of archival films, news footage and anonymous snapshots that all were collected from the internet. Traumas that people did upload and shared over time, their own personal views of some history main stopping stations or just channeling what had been take place in either their national or global history. Going through all these footage, I found myself lost in what is actually true and what is not. Revisionist history: “History is a set of lies agreed upon”, “History is written by the victor.”

How can we rely on a history is only documented and manipulated by the winner, by the strongest. I imagined of wiping the whole traumas that are left for us, traumas either to keep us feelings guilty, sad, miserables and hocked to a past in order to see what has to come.

History Wipes - History is a sculpture, a slogan and yet a title of this video installation. The gloved hands wiping screen were inspired by Giorgio de Chirico’s famous painting The Song of Love (1914) in which a giant rubber glove is depicted next to the head Apollo Belvedere.

The work grew into a broader and more general commentary on the inconstancy and ambiguity of memories. The work examines the manipulation and eradication of painful and shameful events, a process that is happening everywhere in the world. The question is, ultimately, whose stories and history we are telling – or being told – and with what voice.


Video duration: 00’02’59 (loop)

Sculptures: 190 x 300 cm (resin)