Headless Male Figure (Kh. IV 112) (Recovered, Missing, Stolen Series), 2007
middle eastern packaging and newspapers, glue
9.65 × 4.72 × 2.76 inches
Michael Rakowitz's latest show, at Lombard-Freid Projects, deals with the destruction of Iraq's cultural treasures. Part of the project is an attempt to reconstruct the archaeological artifacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq in the aftermath of the American invasion in April 2003. They are made from Middle Eastern food packaging and Arabic newspapers found in Arab communities in America, I believe primarily in New York and Chicago.
It also has information about the story of Donny George, the former Director General of the Museum. New York Magazine has a profile of him in the latest issue. He now lives on Long Island and teaches at Stony Brook. He moved after his children received death threats. Two of his children, Marian, 21, a medical student, and Steven, 23, a computer scientist, are in Damascus, as the US government wouldn't give them papers to come to America.
The University of Chicago has more information including a complete database of the Museum's holdings before 2003.
I first heard of Michael Rakowitz via his paraSITE project for providing temporary shelter for homeless people.
[photo from the gallery's website]