Saddam is Here – Jamal Penjweny

Saddam is Here – Jamal Penjweny

19th February 2014 - 21st April 2014

IKON, Birmingham


An exhibition of work by emerging artist Jamal Penjweny from Iraqi Kurdistan, including a number of photographic series that are as poignant and smart as they are formally straightforward. Saddam is Here consists of twelve images of Iraqi people in familiar surroundings, each holding a life-size picture of Saddam Hussein’s face in front of their own. Saddam’s likeness becomes a mask obscuring any expression of emotion, any gaze, or possibility of sure identification and individuality. It is ludicrous, hilarious and at the same time absolutely ominous, pointing up the insidious influence of a dictator.Another Life, a short film by Penjweny, follows some days in the lives of Iraqis smuggling alcohol from Iraq into Iran. It has the grainy appeal of covert cell phone footage, and is very matter-of-fact in its editing. There is no melodrama, but the last moments are like an emotional hammerblow when, instead of rolling credits, we find ourselves reading paragraphs explaining how two of the men just introduced to us were killed by customs police a few days after filming.

Saddam is Here is organised in collaboration with the Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq.

This is the opening exhibition of Ikon 50, the year-long programme celebrating Ikon’s 50th anniversary.

Jamal Penjweny and Jonathan Watkins in conversation
Thursday 13 February, 7-8.30pm, free
The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW
Click here for more information.

Back to full listings

Submit a listing to GRAIN’s Website

GRAIN is keen to list all kinds of photographic news, events, shows, opportunities and services. Please see T&Cs before submitting.

We only list exhibitions, events, projects and opportunities which have a significant photographic content or connection, and are open to the public.

We reserve the right to edit or remove any text or images you supply. By submitting text you confirm that the details are correct and truthful to the best of your knowledge. See terms and conditions.

Please submit this information at least three weeks before you want your listing to appear.

Copyright 2016 GRAIN.