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iRaq [Abu Ghraib Prisoner]

ID Number: 22001
Maker: Forkscrew Graphics
Technique: silkscreen
Date Made: 2004
Place Made: United States: California, Los Angeles
Measurements: 86.4 cm x 59.1 cm; 34 in x 23 1/4 in
Main Subject: Iraq (Middle East); Peace (Anti-War)
Materials: paper (fiber product)
Digitized: Y

Full Text:
iRaq 10,000 Iraqis killed. 773 US soldiers dead.


Acquisition Number: 2004-105

Notes:
Based on Apple's iPod international advertising campaign, 2003-2005. Combines the infamous photograph of a prisoner tortured in Abu Ghraib, the U.S. run prison in Iraq, with the internationally distributed iPod ad. The photograph was first seen by the U.S. public in 2004. Seymour Hersh, the same journalist who exposed the My Lai Massacre during the Viet Nam war, also exposed the torture of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, by the U.S. military. In April of 2004, the first photographs of torture, abuse and humiliation appeared in the US media. Simultaneously, a striking series of Apple Computer ads were posted in magazines and billboards throughout the world. The ads used dancing silhouettes with white wires against a flat brightly colored background to promote the iPod, a pocket-sized device for playing music files. Artists soon merged the iconic Abu Ghraib hooded man with electric wires hanging from his fingers, with the iPod ad. The two best known were Copper Greene from New York and Fork Screw Graphics from Los Angeles, both of whom inserted their anti-war graphics into displays of the real ads, provoking a lot of attention.


Copyright Status:
Under copyright; used by CSPG for educational and research purposes only. Distribution or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.


Exhibition Annotation:
iRaq combines the infamous photograph of a prisoner tortured in Abu Ghraib, the U.S. run prison in Iraq, with the graphics of the internationally distributed iPod ad. The poster was produced soon after the photograph was first seen by the U.S. public in 2004. This is one of a series of four posters mimicking the iPod ads. The posters were inserted into rows of real iPod ads in Los Angeles, so that the viewer would do a double take when passing by. An almost identical appropriation of the iPod ad was simultaneously produced by New York artist Copper Greene, who also inserted his posters into the rows of iPod ads in the subways and on the walls of New York. This is a very effective form of culture jamming—once someone sees the parody or politicized version, they can rarely see the real advertisement without thinking of the politicized one.



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thumbnail iRaq [man with whip]
Forkscrew Graphics
2004
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