‘Until the River Winds Ninety Degrees West’, Iraq Pavilion

57th Venice Biennale

The installation features 6 images from Hattom’s family album, images from Iraq in the 40s-60s, where she¬†has digitally removed the people and supplemented them with descriptions of what is happening in the image. The texts are based on family memories. Collaged onto landscape images from Australia.

The map in the centre is based on an excerpt taken from an ancient and holy Mandaean manuscript called ‘The Book of Rivers’. A geographical map of the world, it’s an imagined geography between heaven and earth.

The clay objects and cloth are sculptural sketches of objects typically used in Mandaean rituals and ceremonies such as baptism and marriage.

The installation explores migration, identity, water as a passage and the flawed nature of facts and fiction encapsulated in memory.

See this video on the making of ‘Archaic’.
For more details on ‘Until the River Winds Ninety Degrees West’ and the theme of water see Themes of Archaic #3: Water.