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Lida Abdul

White House, Afghanistan, 2005

16 mm film transferred to DVD, 5:00 min.

Courtesy of Giorgio Persano Gallery, Torino

“In the ‘White House’ videos/performance, I am painting ruins in Kabul,” says Lida Abdul. “They were very close to the military base and knowing this made the making of this piece a rather uncanny experience. At some level, I wanted to make a sculpture that was as much an answer to those who see destruction as a solution to more difficult problems. At the same time, I wanted to preserve these ruins for the future. Just as ruins. Not monuments.”

“… In my work, I try to juxtapose the space of politics with the space of reverie, almost absurdity, the space of shelter with that of the desert; in all of this I try to perform the ‘blank spaces’ that are formed when everything is taken away from people. How do we come face to face with ‘nothing’ with ‘emptiness’ where there was something earlier? I was a refugee myself for a few years, moving from one country to another, knowing full well that at every juncture I was a guest who at any moment might be asked to leave. The refugee’s world is a portable one, allowing for easy movement between borders. It is one that can be taken away as easily as it was given.”