"Bashiqa, Iraq - Nov 2016" belongs to a series of works first exhibited in the Iraqi Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
In the fall of 2016 Francis Alÿs spent nine days embedded with Kurdish Peshmerga forces outside Mosul, Iraq. He accompanied the soldiers along a 23-kilometer frontline, which the artist describes as “a hill moving slowly into the outskirts” of the city.
The painting captures the reality of life on a battleground, protected from ISIS fighters by a simple mound of dirt. The beiges, ochres, and burnt oranges—echo the colours of the dusty earth, and the soldier’s uniforms.