Hanaa Malallah (b. 1958, Theeqar) is a pioneering Iraqi female artist and educator. As a female artist and professor of art, working in Iraq in the 70s and 80s, she received many threats against her life. For this reason, she felt that she had no choice but to leave Iraq, moving to Paris, and finally in London. Much of her work deals with themes around the "chaos of war" which she had experienced in Iraq. She developed the "ruins technique", turning to items readily available in her immediate surroundings, such as burnt paper, torn cloth, barbed wire, splintered wood and bullets.
Malallah sends us for the project an image Power of Invisible, stating: "Virus such as COVID 19 puts the human being in the trial! Always what virus does, and never way around, Namely, not human put virus in a trial!"
Malallah was supposed to be in London on 13th April 2020, "but British Airways cancelled all its flights from Bahrain to the UK because of COVID 19. Here I am stranded in Bahrain, nobody knows to when. I have turned the second bedroom to a studio. But cannot work, I just keep staring through the glass of the window to the landscape of desert outside. However, it is really Great Time for Contemplation. "
She as well adds The Window, two photographs referring to her current living situation – her portrait has been reflected on the window, resulting, overlapping, her portrait, the window, and landscape of the desert.
Artists Respond project was started by the Institute for the Research of the Avant-Garde and the Marinko Sudac Collection. Addressing the current global pandemic, the project aims to virtually present the thoughts and attitudes of neo-avant-garde artists, their energy and the message they have for the present moment. This is the moment in which the world as we know it is on hold and the moment in which we need optimism and solidarity more than ever. We wish for the public to welcome the creative energy of these artists - artists who are ready to point out the state of things, to respond with art and creativity, as they have done in all difficult times in the past.