A group art exhibition in Dubai is currently exploring how present-day global politics continues to be dominated by unresolved issues from the Cold War. Statue of Limitation plays on legal terminology relating to the time limit on seeking justice to offer ‘an anti-monument to human will, with all its limitations’. The exhibition focuses in particular on the geographic and strategic importance of the Middle East in the Cold War confrontation between East and West, which led to the Suez Crisis in 1956 and the establishment of the Eisenhower Doctrine the following year.
Here 5 international artists work in a variety of media to explore themes of state control, propaganda, global power, Western entitlement and residual colonial anxieties. Central to the exhibition is Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck and Media Farzin’s video Chronoscope, 1951, 11 pm. The artists have weaved together reordered dialogue, taken from US television footage from the 1950s, to offer an unsettling insight into the ongoing preponderance of Cold War rhetoric in current discourse, particularly in relation to wars on terror and government surveillance programmes. In an interview with Time Out Dubai the artists have elaborated to explain their position: ‘Cold War rhetoric is still very present with us today – communism or terrorism, the ‘free world’ continues to use the media to sway public opinion in its favour, and resorts to violence where ‘hearts and minds’ aren’t quite won.’
Statue of Limitation remains open at the Green Art Gallery in Al Quoz, Dubai until 4 January 2014. American audiences can also see an example of Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck’s work in Modern Entanglements at Henrique Faria Fine Art in New York for the next fortnight.
Image: Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Chronoscope, 1951, 11pm, 2009–2011. In collaboration with Media Farzin. (Installation view) Photo: silversalt. Courtesy of Artspace, Sydney