Courtesy of Sadik Alfraji- We Scream, but Nothing Changes
In a nod to the world’s hottest storytelling platform – Pecha Kucha or “show and tell” – Selections has asked a
number of artists and designers to talk about a specific project through imagery and an economy of words. The
result is a simple yet engaging and visually captivating tale that sheds light upon the work whilst providing
insights into the life and personal thoughts of each featured artist and designer. Passion and knowledge all
wrapped into one.

Born in Baghdad in 1960, Sadik is a visual artist who works in drawing, painting, video and animation. He studied art, graphic design and philosophy and pursued his artistic profession beginning in the 1980s in Baghdad. He focused on the expressionistic intensity of graphic art and the ideas and concepts of existence. His work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Asia, Europe and the United States, in several art venues including museums and art foundations, such as the MoMA PS1 in New York; Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in Australia; Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar; Barjeel Art Foundation in UAE; Maraya Art Centre in UAE; British Museum in London; the 56th and 57th Venice Biennales; Videobrasil in São Paulo; Mori Art Museum in Tokyo; Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art (LACMA); Centro Cultural La Moneda in Chile; Busan Museum of Art in South Korea; Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium; Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris; Stedelijk Design Museum Den Bosch in the Netherlands; Museum of Modern Art of Algiers; Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston; Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA) in Argentina; Novosibirsk State Art Museum in Russia; Cluj-Napoca Art Museum in Romania; Hollfeld Kunst & Museum in Germany and many others. Sadik currently lives and works in the Netherlands.


We Scream, but Nothing Changes is an ongoing project that consists of drawing on paper, drawings on walls, paintings and animation. The project started in 2019 in Madrid at Naves Matadero, as a commissioned walls drawing solo exhibition, when Naves Matadero-Centro Internacional de Artes Vivas commissioned me to make a solo of wall drawing/graffiti inside one of its spaces. I thought I’d complete this project using ink on paper as a same material for the wall drawings and to produce an animation film I’d had in mind. When I arrived in Madrid, I immediately started working on the completion of the first phase of it, and in 10 days I completed hundreds of drawings (ink on paper) to be ready to be hung on the walls of the hall space. That was three days before the opening. At this point I decided without hesitation not to show these drawings, which I’d spent the last 10 days preparing, but to start over, this time using the ink directly on the wall and with sizes covering the entire walls – and that’s what happened. In two crazy days, I filled 13 walls with plans. It was really crazy to do this, and just a few weeks before the uprising in Iraq.

WE SCREAM, BUT NOTHING CHANGES
AS IF WE SCREAM INTO THE EMPTINESS,
OUR DREAMS ARE SCREAMS,
OUR THOUGHTS ARE SCREAMS,
OUR CONVERSATIONS ARE SCREAMS,
EVEN OUR SILENCE IS A SCREAM,
WE SCREAM BECAUSE WE SEEK TO UNDERSTAND OR TO CHANGE.
YET WE ALWAYS END UP NOR TO UNDERSTAND OR TO CHANGE A THING.
I HERE SUMMON MUNCH AND WITH HIM I ECHO HIS LOUD SCREAM.
THIS WORK IS TRIBUTE TO HIS GREAT SPIRIT.

“IN 10 DAYS I COMPLETED
HUNDREDS OF DRAWINGS
(INK ON PAPER) TO BE
READY TO BE HUNG ON THE
WALLS OF THE HALL SPACE”


A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, SHOW & TELL #51 PAGES 98-101.

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SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

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