An exhibition marking the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by US-led coalition forces is due to open at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester this spring. The show (9 March-February 2014) largely sidesteps Tony Blair’s controversial role in the conflict. (The then prime minister supported the invasion because of intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.)
“[The photographic display] will explore how the war has shaped people’s lives, whether civilian or military, rather than focusing on Tony Blair,” says a spokesman for the museum. Images of the bloodshed will be shown alongside the museum’s permanent displays, which include Jeremy Deller’s Baghdad, 5 March 2007, the wreckage of a car destroyed in a Baghdad book market. The work was unveiled in 2010.
Meanwhile, 19 new sculptures and monuments are due to be erected across Baghdad this year—including a 21m-high statue in Firdos Square, on the spot where a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein once stood—when the war-torn city becomes the Arab Capital of Culture. According to Agence France Presse, the Iraqi artist Abass Gharib will unveil a permanent statue in place of the toppled Saddam sculpture. G.H.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Iraq War remembered (but not the dodgy dossier)'