'21st Century: Art in the First Decade' is an exhibition, publication, blog and series of public programs at the Queensland Art Gallery l Gallery of Modern Art that explore the art of the past ten years. As an expanded platform for the exhibition, the '21st Century Blog' functions as a source book of reference material and contributions provided by artists, curators and writers. Read more



Sharif Waked | To be continued... 2009 | SD video: 4:3, 41:33 minutes, colour, stereo (Arabic with English subtitles) | Purchased 2010 with a special allocation from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation

Sharif Waked ‘To be continued…’ 2009

Sharif Waked’s To be continued… replicates the codes and conventions of a martyrdom video – the recording of a suicide bomber’s last testimony prior to carrying out an operation. Released following the subject’s death, these video messages serve as an enduring symbol of resistance and heroism for families and communities, designed both to preserve the memory of the subject and justify and glorify their actions and commitment. What appears as the suicide bomber’s last declaration in Waked’s video is revealed to be a spoken narration of One Thousand and One Nights, a classic text of the Islam’s golden age. In the book King Shahrayar executes his wife after discovering her infidelity and begins marrying a succession of virgins, only to execute one each morning. A young woman named Shahrazad avoids execution by cunningly retelling a series of historical tales, comedies, tragedies, poems, erotica and legends. The King, enraptured by Shahrazad’s unfolding stories, is forced to commute her execution so he can hear the story’s conclusion that never comes and as a consequence, Shahrazad delays the moment of death and saves herself. Like the character of Shahrazad, Waked’s suicide bomber delays his mission and conclusive end through an endless process of narration; Waked’s video continually loops producing a suspended state of time where the immediate and unending, anticipated and the perpetually delayed are not easily separated.

Categories: Artist

One Response to Sharif Waked ‘To be continued…’ 2009

  1. By naomi aviv

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