Many Rivers to Cross


I met with Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, a Netherlands-based Iraqi artist, to talk about his travelling exhibition ‘Ali’s Boat’. Sadik’s soulful video works evolve from ink and charcoal; his sketchbooks act almost as an excavation of his personal stories, which overlay political and national narratives.

Encounters with place, memory, and identity arise as questions in Ali’s Boat, a highly personal multimedia installation by Iraqi-born artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji. Curated by Nat Muller and accompanied by a book launch surveying Sadik’s major output, the exhibition’s success in Dubai has been in no way subdued by its migration to London, where it was shown during the recent Shubbak Festival, and where it will remain on display until the end of August. A story deconstructed and rebuilt, which simmered in Sadik’s subconscious for a decade, Ali’s Boat follows the first meeting with his nephew in his native Baghdad. The notions of memory, home, and journeying – which might jostle for space in a more constrained work – find fulfilment in Sadik’s immersive video narrative.

The piece continues here.