To Muhammad! To Mecca!
Bio of the artist
Adel Abidin (Baghdad-Iraq, 1973).
He received a bachelor's degree in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 2000 and a Master's degree in Media and New Media Art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2005, focusing on installation, interactive installations, videos and photography. His multi-media practice explores the complex relationships between culture, politics, and identity. Using a sharp palette of irony and humor, Abidin gravitates towards social situations dealing with elusive experiences and cultural alienation, using his cross-cultural background to create a distinct visual language often entwined with sarcasm and paradox, while maintaining his ultimately humanistic approach. Abidin has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions such as The Helsinki KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, The DA2 Domus Atrium 2002 Centre of Contemporary Art (Salamanca), Location One Gallery in New York City, the 17th Sydney Biennale, Aksanat (İstanbul), the 10th Sharjah Biennale, and 52nd Venice Biennale, where he represented Finland with Abidin Travels, a mock travel agency that promotes tourist trips to Baghdad. In 2011, he presented new work in a string of solo exhibitions at Darat al-Funun in Amman, Gallerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris, and Wharf: Centre d'Art Contemporain de Basse, Normandy. He also exhibited his critically-acclaimed video installation Consumption of War at the Iraqi Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. He has held solo shows at L'Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris) and Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland and has also been selected to participate in a group show in Tokyo at The Mori Art Museum entitled Arab Express in 2012.