Distributed Microtopias Exhibition


Under the Microscope

Under the Microscope

Ali Kadhum | Iraq/Belgium

Under the Microscope (2012)

“Wave, Chaos, Charge, Boundaries, Stream.”  Under the Microscope responds to the Arab Spring of pro-democracy protests in North Africa, the Levant, and Arabian Peninsula.  Defined by light, shimmering silhouettes of the MENA region become the contours of movements across geopolitical borders to the chants of demonstrators in the streets and squares that disperse into the air like pollen.  Later distributed by a bee, the region becomes united in the color of blood.  From a period when all interactions seemed under the microscope of domestic surveillance to one in which all interactions seem under the microscope of international scrutiny, the video captures sirens that blare as rigid shapes remain, filled with the blood that makes the air and light around them seem different.

Ali Kadhum was born in Baghdad, where he studied the Institute of Fine Arts and Academy of Visual Arts.  In 2006, he moved to Belgium, where he worked in theatre, installations, and video art.  In 2011, he entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.