The exhibition, the second one of the artist at gallery Barbara Wien, features works by Michael Rakowitz which expand his ongoing project “The invisible enemy should not exist” started in 2007, and a new video work titled “The Ballad of Special Ops Cody”.
The entire exhibition is named after the latter, a 2017 stop-motion film, in which an action figure reproducing a soldier of the Iraq War confronts Mesopotamian votive statues in vitrines at the Oriental Institute in Chicago. Besides the new film, four works from “The invisible enemy should not exist” series are shown for the first time. This series of sculptures materialise the effort of the artist to reconstruct the lost artifacts stolen from the National Museum of Iraq, Baghdad, in the aftermath of the US invasion of April 2003, and the continued destruction of Mesopotamian cultural heritage by groups such as ISIS. After accurate researches about the single objects, the artist then reproduce them in his studio.