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Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at Art Basel Statements, 2012

Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at Art Basel Statements, 2012

Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at Art Basel Statements, 2012

Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at Art Basel Statements, 2012

Press Release

Art Basel

Shadi Habib Allah’s project for Art Statements, S/N: 8F1GNA0021 is an interplay between the sculptural element and its transformation from the black-market. The accompanying video documents the process of the artist 'commissioning' a camera to be stolen in the clandestine marketplace and the labor of fashioning a new 'legal' identity on the object.

The work represents illicit economies that exist within established forms of circulation and deal with - illegal bodies - be they stolen goods or undocumented immigrants. This shadow system of exchange operates under the radar of authority but has an effect on the economy as a whole, and also performs an essential service of making 'legitimate' objects and people. The assigned form to these bodies constructs a new meaning, and gives them the ability to move legally. A transfiguration that resonates with artistic practice itself.

The process of acquiring the camera renders visible the mechanisms of the illicit economy – from ordering to delivery – taking place both in public and domestic spaces the sites of trafficking are revealed in their everydayness. In the final operation, the camera records the dismantling of its shell – similar to the erasure of traces on a stolen car – aiming to conceal its previous history, and undergoes a stripping off and modification of its body. The workers of the auto body shop, implicated in this action as agents of concealment, have their presence partially distorted as the dismantling process progresses and their words are subtly chopped. The transformation of the camera's identity thrusts the object into a state of transience – the past resides internally while the surface takes on a new visage in an attempt to forge a future.

Shadi Habib Allah, S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012, Aluminium, 20 gage metal, Video camera, Fiberglass, bond body filler, 155 x 48.25 x 40.5 cm

Shadi Habib Allah, S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012

Aluminium, 20 gage metal, Video camera, Fiberglass, bond body filler, 155 x 48.25 x 40.5 cm

Shadi Habib Allah, S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012, Aluminium, 20 gage metal, Video camera, Fiberglass, bond body filler, 155 x 48.25 x 40.5 cm

Shadi Habib Allah, S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012

Aluminium, 20 gage metal, Video camera, Fiberglass, bond body filler, 155 x 48.25 x 40.5 cm

Shadi Habib Allah, S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012, 16", Single channel HDV

Shadi Habib Allah, S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012

16", Single channel HDV

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