Conflict Exchange (CX)
Iraqi American Artist Wafaa Bilal launches the inaugural edition of his new work Conflict Exchange (CX) at the first National Veterans Art Museum Triennial. CX is a series of social platforms in the format of stores that explore the equity and relationships of post-conflict. In his inaugural edition, Bilal presents veteran artists Alicia Dietz and Drew Cameron whose work will be featuredon this social platform. Bilal developed CX as an extension of his celebrated interactive project 168:01, which invites visitors to contribute to the rebuilding of the fine art library in the post-conflict University of Baghdad through their purchase of blank white books crafted by the artist. Inside of the first CX store, visitors encounter products made from donated military fatigues by Combat Paper – a veteran artisan collective led by Cameron. Throughout the exhibition period, Combat Paper will manufacture these products in the CX store where patrons will have chance to interact with artisans from the collective. The interior of the first CX store is designed by Dietz, an artist and craftsman whose work questions the boundary between soldiers and civilians. Visitors are encouraged to utilize the space designed by Dietz for encounters, interaction and communication. Visitors are invited to purchase the conflict byproducts from the store. All proceeds will contribute to the rebuilding of College of Fine Arts Library at the post-conflict University of Baghdad.
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Every penny we receive will be used for 168:01 and the eventual restoration of the library at the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad. We are using the funds for things like:
- Purchasing books from library’s Wishlist
- Shipping costs to 168:01 exhibitions/Wafaa’s studio for books donated from personal libraries
- Shipping costs to Baghdad for books collected during 168:01 exhibitions/independently
- Remodeling the interior of the College of Fine Arts’ library