A Fruit That Asks Questions: Michael Rakowitz's Shipment of Iraqi Dates

By Jenny Gheith

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Fall 2010

Michael Rakowitz (American, b. 1973) is an artist of Iraqi-Jewish descent whose work questions social and political systems through projects that have included inflatable homeless shelters crafted out of plastic bags and research into the ties between fictional fantasy and modern warfare, for example Saddam Hussein's regime and Star Wars. While shopping at Sahadi's, a Middle Eastern grocery store in Brooklyn, Rakowitz purchased a can of date syrup, a product that would lead to a cultural artwork with global implications. In the artwork, this staple of Iraqi-Jewish traditions would elucidate American and Iraqi trade restrictions, the current plight of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers abroad, and unite strangers behind a shipment of fruit.

Topic: Art, Culture, Jewish-Arab Relations, Food, Globalization

Name of Publication: AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies

Editor: Bunzl, Matti , Havrelock, Rachel

Volume/Issue: Fall 2010

Page Number(s): 28-29

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Iraq

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Gheith, Jenny. A Fruit That Asks Questions: Michael Rakowitz's Shipment of Iraqi Dates. AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Fall 2010: 28-29. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=11998


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