Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal and Reader contributor Kari Lydersen read selections from their book Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun Tuesday at 7 PM at the Experimental Station in Woodlawn.
Bilal courts controversy with performance and new media works that insert the terrifying violence of civilian life during the Iraqi invasion into the “comfort zone” of everyday American existence. For “Virtual Jihadi,” he inserted himself into the Night of Bush Capturing video game–an Al Qaeda hack of the right-wing Quest for Saddam game–posing as a jihadi out to avenge the real-life death of his brother, killed by U.S. troops. In “Domestic Tension,” he placed himself in a room with a paintball gun remotedly operated by online visitors; more than 60,000 people from 130 countries fired at him over 31 days.
Tomorrow’s event will feature a screening of a documentary about the censorship of “Virtual Jihadi,” readings from Bilal and Lydersen’s recent book, as well as a guest appearance by the paintball gun used in “Domestic Tension.” Jamie Kalven provides an introduction, and a discussion follows the presentations. See our event listing for more details