I was given a camera in Baghdad. My mother recorded many of the twelve exposures. She was behind the window in the black and white picture, framed along the side of our house, which was under construction at that time.
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I snapped pictures in every direction. I turned numerous, collecting synchronous realities in the months just before the Iran-Iraq war. Our rawest forms and feelings multiplied, pitting chaos theory against red army fractals. New totems arose in a desert province.
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I take a picture of a drone, detail of the new American imagination. Totems replace totems. Ours is an international landscape where bombs and book delivery services are indistinguishable. I’ve lived here all my life.
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Rheim Alkadhi was born in New York, in 1973. She grew up in Baghdad until 1980, and lived in the United States for the many decades leading up to a practice based variously in the Arab Region. She currently lives in Beirut. Recent projects include the commissioned digital work PICTURE CITY BODY for the New Museum’s New Art Online program; the object-based exhibition HERE IS MY LIFE WHICH I DEVOTE TO LEARNING ABOUT YOU at Darat al Funun in Amman; and the social intervention COLLECTIVE KNOTTING TOGETHER OF HAIRS in Palestine for the 2012 Jerusalem Show. Her work was also included in HERE AND ELSEWHERE, a major exhibition of contemporary art from and about the Arab world, at the New Museum.