Contemporary Art Quarterly

Essex Street
September 7 – October 26, 2014
ISIS, 2014
UV inkjet print on aluminum
12 x 18 inches

Downstream from Iran and Turkey, in the mid-section of the Tigris-Euphrates Basin, many rivers converge on Baghdad. The catchment, part of Mesopotamia, of land between rivers, could become verdant. Over time, the colors here could change to the green and beige in Islamic garden painting. I was asked for an “Islamic solution” to another war in Iraq, in 1985, by a diplomat from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Knowing about the terrain crises, I volunteered, “Islamic Garden.” Such a response could be made to ISIS: stay in this frame, “cultiver vos jardin,” and we will expand the State Department’s river-basin technical/scientific exchange program to set up a parallel anti-drought program with our drought-damaged river, the Colorado. Progress could be extended into neighboring lands, in both hemispheres. (Parallel first shown, 2002; segmented thus, Sharjah Biennial, 2007.)
Image courtesy of Essex Street, New York
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We would especially like to thank Peter Fend for generously agreeing to participate in this project.  

Thank you to Essex Street, New York for their help acquiring hard to find texts and images of Fend's exhibitions. Daniel Herleth of Oracle, Berlin also helped provide crucial digital versions of old slides. Thanks also to Barbara and Howard Morse for a substantial collection of scans of writings, exhibition texts, and ephemera.