© Courtoisie de Wafaa Bilal

Blown up: gaming and war

Wafaa Bilal, Harun Farocki, Mohammed Mohsen (New York, Berlin, Toronto)

November 17 to December 15, 2012

Interactive video installations

November 17 to December 15, 2012

Curator : Vicky Moufawad-Paul
Vernissage : Saturday November 17 – 3 p.m.

« (…) fascinating new exhibit curated by Vicky Moufawad-Paul. »
NOW (Toronto)

Blown Up: Gaming and War exposes the misrepresentation of present-day wars through the projects of three artists who work with video games.

The Night of Bush Capturing: A Virtual Jihadi by Wafaa Bilal denounces hateful stereotyping of Arab culture. Bilal pirated and revisits The Night of Bush Capturing, the on-line Al Qaeda “video game”, and transforms it into a work of self-fiction. Known internationally for his provocative work, this Iraqi-born New York artist was named “Artist of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune in 2007.

Immersion, by the Berlin artist Harun Farocki, draws on Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy, an immersive virtual environment used by the U.S. army to treat soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. The installation creates a parallel universe where the notion of winning on the ground becomes secondary to upholding the stability of the system. It’s a troubling interactive experience of veracity that gives visitors the impression they are interacting with actual soldiers! Harun Farocki’s work has been shown at the prestigious documenta event in Kassel, in 2007.

Weak adopts the formal elements of video games, but the usual identification with the protagonist is absent, leaving traces drawn from reconstructed memories of childhood, film, and exile poetry. The work demonstrates how military video games are not only a source of pleasure, but of political anxiety, and the agency afforded to the protagonist is abstracted. Mohammed Mohsen is an Arab visual artist based in Toronto.

Press release

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