To Dream, to Collect









55 x 75 cm
21.65 x 30 in

Make a request for Witness from Baghdad 2 available on fair

  • About the work
Medium: Lambda print

About the Artist

, Iraq

1963 Born in Najaf, Iraq, lives and works in Denver, USA, and Dubai. 1988 Completed art studies at Baghdad Academy of Fine Arts, 2000 graduation at the Gerrit Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam. Since 1992 numerous solo exhibitions as well as participation in group exhibitions around the world. Halim Al Karim (born 1963 in Iraq) spent his younger years in Beirut, Lebanon and already at an early age took a keen interest in photography. When he subsequently returned to Iraq, he studied, amongst other subjects, ceramics at the Baghdad Institute of Fine Arts. His family suffered persecution because of their opposition to the Iraqi regime, and when Al Karim fled to escape military service in the first Gulf War he had to go into hiding in the desert of Southern Iraq, living for almost 3 years in a hole in the ground covered by a pile of rocks. He survived only through the assistance of a Bedouin woman who brought him food and water and taught him about gypsy customs and mysticism. Al-Karim has since emigrated to America, however, these events have had a profound effect on his life and form the basis for his art practice. His work indirectly bears testimony to the existential experiences of the artist. "When dreams are your only means of escape, they become part of your being and consciousness.” Primarily through the medium of photography he defamiliarises his motifs. Blurring and other methods of obscurity and distortion are metaphors for his perception of the world – one that can never be decisive and clear. As a consequence, realities and wishful thinking overlap, and always with the eye as the central feature of the work: be it when we need it to see or be it when Al Karim presents it as an isolated, blow-up motif peeking out at us through a veil of spanned silk. His works are included in various museums around the world, among others in the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, Doha, Qatar; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Saatchi Gallery, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

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About the Gallery


Thalwil, Im Park 2 - 6

For almost twenty years now, Heidi and Franz J. Leupi have been closely involved in the art world, working with artists in Europe, North and South America and Asia, as well as organising exhibitions. Following projects of cultural exchange in Dubai they decided in 2003 to place the focus of their work firmly on the contemporary art scene of the Middle East a...

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