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‘Man Down / …and Counting’

An updated project of mine (old version here new 1 to launch quickly) was component of a show that opened earlier tonight (March 9th, 2010) at the EFA project space here in NYC.

The highlight of the show: Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal’s 24-hour live tattoo overall performance:

&quotWafaa Bilal’s brother Haji was killed by a missile at a checkpoint in their hometown of Kufa, Iraq in 2004. As an Iraqi-American, Bilal feels the pain of each American and Iraqi households who have lost loved ones in the war, but feels the deaths of Iraqis like his brother are largely invisible to the American public.

‘…and Counting’ addresses this double regular as Bilal turns his own physique — in a 24-hour live performance — into a canvas, his back tattooed with a borderless map of Iraq covered with one particular dot for each Iraqi and American casualty close to the cities exactly where they fell. The 5,000 dead American soldiers are represented by red dots (permanent visible ink), and the 100,000 Iraqi casualties are represented by dots of green UV ink, seemingly invisible unless below black light. The names of the dead will be study in the course of the overall performance.&quot