The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one's own
Michael Rakowitz will open his third solo exhibition at Lombard-Freid Projects on March 3, with an opening reception on Friday, March 6. Always clever and profoundly timely, Rakowitz explores the influence of Star Wars on the design of Iraqi monuments, military uniforms and weaponry under Saddam Hussein. The show title is taken from the invitation card sent for the inauguration of the “Victory Arch”, a monument that Saddam Hussein built to commemorate the Iraqi victory over Iran in 1989, which is modeled after the iconic Star Wars poster in which Darth Vader wields two light sabers. For this show, Rakowitz has recreated the monument using toy light sabers surrounded by helmets cast of melted GI Joe action figures. The helmets are reproductions of those worn by the paramilitary group formed by Hussein’s eldest son, the design of which is a replica of Darth Vader’s helmet. Additional sculptural elements and a series of narrative drawings come together to tell this most surprising- yet true- story of the Iraqi leader’s fascination with Star Wars.