Artist Sayed Irshad Ali begins the new year at Gallery One with an installation designed to reawaken our memory and increase our awareness. Shoe Men’s Property 1 and 2 refers to the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. The political boundaries of each are created out of iron: one filled with “oil” and the other spilling mobile phone batteries out of its center…mobile phone batteries containing lithium, one of the rare minerals found in abundance in Afghanistan.
We are asked to be reminded of the rich resources of both countries: oil, gold, copper, lithium, cobalt and more, and contemplate the materialistic motives behind the invasions of these countries, and the lives lost in pursuit of wealth.
Iraq rests upon desert sands, while Afghanistan hangs on its side…the edges of its perimeter suggesting the peaks of the country’s mountainous terrain.The small motorized “shoe boat” that circles aimlessly in the basin that represents Iraq refers to the shoe thrown at former US President George Bush by an Iraqi journalist. This shoe-throwing became a symbol of anger and frustration and a sense of exploitation among the Iraqi people. But the very white shoe in Shoe Men’s Property symbolizes America as it circles the boundaries of its newly acquired “property”.
Please view this superb video of Shoe Men’s Property made by the artist…complete with the audio that accompanies the installation.
This article was first published at : http://www.worksatone.blogspot.com/