British artist Jeremy Deller recently completed the first leg of his project “It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq” at the New Museum in New York. In it, he invited a multiplicity of perspectives to engage in conversation about the last decade’s activities in the Middle East.
Now he, along with Sergeant Jonathan Harvey, an American veteran of the Iraq War, and Esam Pasha, an Iraqi citizen, are traveling cross-country in an RV, making stops on their way to California in order to offer conversations that “strive to present a broad, informational, nonpartisan perspective of Iraq through firsthand encounters between the general public and those who have significant scholarly research to impart, military experiences to describe, and heritage to share.”
From noon until 5 p.m. on Monday, conversations will take place on Fountain Square followed by a lecture in the Contemporary Arts Center’s performance space at 6:30 p.m. that evening. Along with the clear value of bridging an information gap between actual situations in Iraq and American perceptions of them, Deller’s project makes good on showing us that contemporary art can facilitate clearer views of what goes on around us every day.
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