Tag Archives: the Other

“visual challenging work that demands intellectual unpacking…

Artists and critics frequently encounter conceptually and visually challenging work that demands intellectual unpacking and deconstruction. As an artist and patriot, I feel it is my duty to interpret Bilal’s work and continue to facilitate discussion concerning the past and future actions of our great Nation.

The strong emotional response which Bilal’s work elicits is reminiscent of the feelings many American’s faced after the 9/11 attacks, but we must not forget that what occurred was a clever displacement of these feelings unto a country which was not responsible for the atrocities. As there is still no evidence of WMDs, and no connection between the activities of secular Saddam Hussein and Islamic fundamentalism, one can only sympathize with the horror Bilal must have experience knowing that this war was senseless and unjustifiable: that in essence his family was murdered. Bilal has created a simulation so that we can experience the emotional response of the Other, the implicit statement is that the artwork is analogous to our invasion of Iraq, which has complicated our efforts to create peace and given the terrorists more reason to fight.
I have learned that in America it is unpatriotic to disagree, but we must remember that there is such a thing as loyal opposition, that a simulation is not equivilent to reality, that an experience in the context of an art gallery is intended as a mental provocation, to continue dialogue about the effects the war, Bilal has a right to bring up these questions.