The Bell Gallery will hold an opening reception for the American premier of Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal’s The Ashes Series on Friday, April 5th at 5:30pm.
The Ashes Series is composed of ten photographs of models constructed by the artist over a period of ten years documenting the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This series builds upon Bilal’s provocative and innovative artworks that employ photography, installation, robotics, gaming, and video to create interactive works that explore the dissonance of war and culture.
In all the photographs, Bilal has removed the human figures that were present in the original images. He has replaced them with 21 grams of human ashes which the artist measured and distributed throughout the ten models before photographing them. These 21 grams reference the supposed mythical weight lost by the departure of the soul from the body at the time of death. Bilal scattered them as a performative gesture to retain a human aura in the photographs. This poetic act troubles the serenity of the scenes — the afterimage of conflict. The proverbial dust, captured suspended in mid-air by the camera, will never settle.
Exhibition runs through May 26.
Reception 5:30pm, Friday, April 5, Bell Gallery, College Street