Digital pigment print with three colour silkscreen and clear glaze onto Hahnemuhle Museum Etching paper, 350gsm
28.8 x 29.5cm
Edition of 40, signed and numbered
About the work
Mohammed Sami has created Still Alive, 2022 especially for Whitechapel Gallery to accompany ‘The London Open 2022’, 30 June – 4 September 2022.
‘Still Alive’ is the artist’s repeated answer to those who ask him ‘’how are you?’’, since leaving his homeland, Iraq, in 2007. This stock response is often uncomfortable, the sentence evoking both trauma and seemingly celebrating the act of living. Sami's edition relates to a series of paintings of the same name - Still Alive aims to pun the genre of Still Life. In addition, Sami is interested in the contrast between the plants and the unidentified orange tube of pills, as a metaphor for life and death.
About the artist
Mohammed Sami’s paintings explore belated memories triggered by common everyday objects and banal, from when he immigrated to Sweden as a refugee from his native Iraq. Rather than using the stereotypical image of trauma to testify to the Iraq conflict, which he witnessed first-hand, Sami deploys painting to articulate war, memory, and loss obliquely. The semi-abstract register and multi-textured paint create a nuanced relationship between the original event and its present recollection in Sami’s artworks. These often appear playful, yet traditional genres such as the still-life, internal-external spaces and landscapes acquire a strange twist, muted, and turn into uncanny illusions and yet, threaten.
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