Sunday, May 13, 2007
Art Space News: Can you hit Wafaa Bilal?
A controversial installation in Chicago is causing a worldwide stir. Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi American artist, has made himself the target of a paintball gun in order to express his concern over the war in Iraq. Viewers are allowed to shoot Mr. Bilal with a paintball gun while he stands practically defenseless.
Mr. Bilal has stated that he is trying to convey what life is like in Iraq for the common civilian. “There is a constant threat here, and part of this project is to put myself in harm's way in order to get closer to what my family is going through,” Bilal said.
Mr. Bilal plans to live in the project space at Flatline Galleries for 45 days. At any given moment, he can be shot by the paintball gun since people can take part in the “Domestic Tension" exhibit by visiting a website that Mr. Bilal is involved with (www.crudeoils.us).
Website visitors can actually point to where they want to fire. Ironically some participants refuse to fire and others have actually tried to defend Mr. Bilal. Thus, the installation reveals various sides of human nature.
What do you think about this installation? Does it convey the message that Mr. Bilal set out for? What do you think about him utilizing the internet as a part of his installation? Will his project make a difference? I want to read your opinions about Mr. Bilal's installation.
Take care, Stay true,