23.03.18

Royal college of Iraq q qq q q

The constant buzz of generators//
The sound of survival.

Whereas the West confirms you to be a child of nowhere;
the systematic and capitalised environment reduces any feral instincts you have inherited.

Ambition, aspiration, art.

1. Try explaining artistic objectivity to your extended family that have heard bombs louder than words and felt fear unimagined by any artwork. I faced the impossibility of translating my artistic knowledge into any tangible information. How the blank faces stared at me whilst my western voice projected gibberish - NAYA.

Bam Subhan'Allah. It hit me; art-talk is a playground of thought for the elite and privileged.

2. Is every word taught to explain art created by white men to institutionalise creativity, question.
And it's this very language used to bump up the value of art, statement.
The more we use this art language, the further the gap between art and the majority and the more it caters for the privileged minority, also statement.

Concrete slabs in my brain architecturally built by the institution.
Block your heritage.
Block the uneducated.
Block people who don't use metaphors...
Block the artless eyes.
Right click, block.

ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART, ART, ROYAL - COLLEGE OF - ROYAL, ART.

Gucci handbag and graphic design // Rolex watches and Picasso.

An immigrant is the perfect victim of capitalism.

STUDIO IS A NEW WORD FOR OFFICE.

3. Every conversation with my Iraqi mother feels like an iron claw tearing away at all the abstracted thoughts I've been taught to have. When will I get a real job, she asks. When will I get married. When will she have grandchildren. It was a mistake to let me go to art school. It was a mistake raising us here. When will she stop lying to her friends about what I do.

Get married already!
Make babies - continue your confused lineage!
A degree is an icebreaker.
An MA is a conversation killer.
Goddess Isis I miss you.

Do I speak the same language spoken by those that stand in white cube spaces holding Prosecco next to millions of pounds worth of art. Do I also speak the same language as the women washing clothes in the Tigris River. I speak the same language as the call to prayer. Allah'hu'akbar.

4. I understand fluent art but it's a language for the elite and privileged and when I speak it no one understands me. Their language is theirs and only theirs. It doesn't translate for me, damn, it doesn't even have subtitles.

How I wish to unlock the doors of knowledge locked in my brain. How I wish to shut the doors on the pretentiousness fed to me - rationalise, justify, occupy, colonise, write, right, white men and white women.

Nothing rejects the concept of fashion more then wearing a burka.

White cube is the measure of success.
The walls as white as the artists,
as white as the buyer,
as white as the curator,
as white as the void.

5. I aspire to be unsuccessful.
Bow, pray, Bismillah, pick up the brush.
Walk around the holy mosque, walk around the holy mosque.
Run for the bus.
Walk around the holy mosque.

If art is for all why is it situated around a language the majority of people don't speak.

6. Stare at the art, stop staring at me, stop trying to figure out where I'm from. Stop looking at my western clothes, perplexed by my western voice. Stop asking me what I thought of Saddam Hussein. I've never lived in Iraq, stop telling me how hard it must be.

What is art but a void between me and my culture. What is art but the difference between me and my Iraqi relatives. What is art but a barrier between me and my father. There's no more art, just everything natural within me ready to surface.

I am a woman, I am an Iraqi, I am British, and I am an artist. Yet I am none of these things too.