Mar 2, 2014
06:51 AMArts & Entertainment
Art Project in Response to Iraqi Car Bomb Comes to New Haven
Beau Beausoleil and Andrea Hassiba’s “Until It Is in Flame,” 2012, a mixed media, paint, papier-mâché, bronze Milagros, schoolbook strap and paper.
NEW HAVEN--March 5, 2007, Baghdad. A car bomb hits al-Mutanabbi Street in the historic center of the Iraqi city’s booksellers — killing 30 people and injuring more than 100.
Poet Beau Beausoleil responded by creating the Al-Mutanabbi Street Project, gathering a collection of broadsides (posters), artists books (art in book form) and a literary anthology that cobbles some art and remembrance out the fiery blast of burned books and their fated buyers.
Nearly seven years later to the day, almost half of the “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” exhibition makes its way to New Haven for a two-month display that opened Saturday at The Institute Library.
“Grief and defiance, I think, would be spirits that mark this exhibit,” said Stephen Kobasa, curator-in-residence at The Institute Library at 847 Chapel St.
Kobasa came to learn about the Al-Mutanabbi Street Project when his editor at Art New England magazine brought it to his attention. Kobasa then wrote an involving piece on the project when it was on display in Boston; he sat down with the organizer of it there.
“I was very moved by the history that he outlined,” Kobasa said. “So I thought, if there’s a way to be part of it, I was going to do it.”