Conceptually, the Gardens take Mark Danner’s 2007 seminal essay “Iraq: The War of the Imagination” as a point of departure. Reinventing the armed encounters between our cultures outside all political paradigms, erotic figures erupt into an imagined terrain of splendor in Muhammad al-Idrisi’s lost mappa mundi, The Garden of Joys. Boundaries between lovers, gardens, and maps dissolve. Thus The Last Judgment ends with making love, not war.
The drawing is literally burned into the surface of delicate handmade papers. In places, the drawn marks char completely through the support, emphasizing the fragility of the unifying surface. Watercolor accents visually cool off this blistering effect.