In 2007, a car bomber decimated a vibrant street in Baghdad, Iraq. Last March, I interviewed the U.S. bookseller, Beau Beausoleil, who spearheaded an art movement to acknowledge this bombing. That interview became a series of Which Silk Shirt posts.
After a few years in the organizing stage, the traveling exhibition Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is making its way to the West and Southwest.
A selection of 50 books will be shown at the San Francisco Center for the Book in an exhibit that began last Friday and runs through May 11th.
A separate exhibition — and related activities — begins this week at Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD). On Wednesday, February 6th, stop by Tipton Hall to see two films about Baghdad: Maysoon Pachachi’s “Open Shutters,” which chronicles a photo workshop with women from Baghdad, and also a short called “A Candle for Cafe Shabandar.”
The following evening, Thursday at 6PM, SFUAD is hosting a panel with the three local artists from the Al-Mutanabbi project (Donna Ruff, Suzanne Vilmain, and me), along with organizer Beau Beausoleil.
Friday, February 8th is the public opening of the show — a chance to see nearly 100 books that commemorate and reflect on the bombing. The exhibit will be held in the Fine Arts Gallery on campus, and runs through March 22.
I’ll give you a sneak peak at my collaborative book, “Versions: A Deconstruction,” which will be shown in both cities (we made an edition of three). I hope to see you at one of the Santa Fe events.