Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon have a post up on the artblog about Libby’s Philadelphia encounter with British artist Jeremy Deller’s roving Iraq project, It Is What It Is: Conversations about Iraq, which is coming to the MCA Chicago in the form of an exhibition to take place next Fall 2009.
Presented by The New Museum and Creative Time for the Three M Project (the ongoing series of exhibition collaborations by the MCA, the Hammer Museum, and The New Museum), Deller’s endeavor began on February 11th at the New Museum, where over a six week period Deller asked journalists, Iraqi refugees, soldiers and scholars to discuss their experiences of Iraq over the past decade.
At the show’s close on March 22nd, Deller began a cross-country journey from New York to California, conducting further conversations with various people at appointed stops along the way. From the website’s project description:
“It Is What It Is” puts a premium on discussion that is open-ended. Skipping easy categories of “for” or “against,” the invited conversationalists bring to the table their wide experiences in order to broadly describe political and social issues that affect those in Iraq as well as those outside. These conversations might be a bit messy, which is good, as black-and-white readings of this situation have been of little use up to now. “It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq” does not promise to solve the problems between the U.S. and Iraq, but it posits that there is beauty that approaches art in human contact and intellectual exchange—that is, in simply talking amongst ourselves.”
An annotated schedule of upcoming stops can be found here; after the road trip is over, the project will be exhibited at the Hammer in April and May, and at the MCA in October and November of 2009.