Diaa Lagan and Basil Al-Rawi: Shahid شَـاهِد

Friday 15 September – Monday 4 December 2023
Diaa Lagan and Basil Al-Rawi: Shahid شَـاهِد | Friday 15 September – Monday 4 December 2023 | The LAB | Image: we see a leaf-like, leaf-coloured shape centred against a beige background; superimposed on the lower part of the ‘leaf’ are intersecting lines and circles, with some of the enclosed spaces they create filled with black or medium-blue; above these shapes and superimposed on the ‘leaf’ are the names of the two artists in blocky, pale-blue script; underneath all of this and only slightly above the bottom of the image is the word ‘shahid‘ written in both Western script and in Arabic, again in a blocky script though this time black

In Arabic, Shahid means ‘witness’ – someone who observes, but also someone who hears and encounters experiences in their unconscious. This is the proposal that the artists are making: an intertwined stream of unconsciousness, roaming through the lived and inherited memories that inhabit them.

Through a variety of artforms and visual methodologies, the artists use the gallery to organise their combined meditative observation, which moves from significant cultural and mythical references, as well as references from vernacular traditions, to imaginary landscapes and personal reminiscences.

The complex layering of legacies, memories, identities, all fusing into a unique self, augmented by the plurality of influences, is presented here in a mosaic of deeply rooted forms.

Basil Al-Rawi is an Irish-Iraqi multidisciplinary artist whose practice is concerned with the landscapes of memory, identity, politics, and mediated reality. Employing remediation, reconstruction, and participatory methods, he works with photography, film, and immersive technologies to recompose archival material and create expanded photographic moments.

Al-Rawi recently completed a practice-based PhD at The Glasgow School of Art, where he utilised participatory methods to explore the creative reconstruction of photographic moments and associated memories from Iraqi diaspora in VR. He has exhibited in group shows at IMMA, Rua Red, The Photographers Gallery, and the Institute of International Visual Arts, amongst others. In 2022 he received a Cork County Council Creative Arts Bursary and an Arts Council Art Participation Project Award for the creation of ‘Between Lines’, a participatory project with the Iraqi diaspora in Ireland to be presented at IMMA, Galway Arts Centre, and Crawford Art Gallery in 2023 & 2024 as part of the Museum of Everyone’s “Communal” project.

Diaa Lagan is an artist based in Dublin. His work draws inspiration from a compendium of metaphorical narratives rooted in mythology and history, while also alluding to a range of modern socio-political subjects. Lagan’s primary mediums encompass painting, printing, and sculpture.

He has participated in numerous studio-based residencies in Ireland and abroad, including The Burren College of Art, IADT, and Cork Printmakers. He has also held solo and group exhibitions both in Ireland and abroad.

Lagan is a recipient of a PhD scholarship from Lusófona University in Portugal. His art practice research crosses over between fine and media arts, referencing the ‘Transcritique’ work by Japanese philosopher Karatani and other influential intellectuals.

Friday 15 September – Monday 4 December 2023
Foley Street, Dublin 1
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