Born 1956 in Nasriyah a city in the south of Iraq , Mohammed Al sadoun is one of the few artists whom I have the chance to meet and be a friend with for a long time. I got to know Sadoun on a personal level and we became good friends. I can describe him in many different ways but one word may hold all the meanings, basically he is a good human being.
Sadoun was born to a Shi’ite mother and a Sunni father, he was also educated in Baghdad during the Ba’ath party regime therefore he grew up to understand that Iraq was never a nation that was structured on the division between people according to their religious believes. Iraqis were divided as groups of Saddam’s supporters or non supporters and Sadoun was the last group. The non supporter.
Like many Iraqis during Saddam’s ruling Sadoun rejected the goverment and fled Iraq In 1989 to live in Spain and then Japan. Sadoun remembers from that period, Iraq with the Golden age of art when Iraq produced great artists like Shaqer Hassan and many others. He still until now weeps over the destruction of the ancient Babylon civilization and the looting of the Iraqi Museums before the eyes of the American troops and their Europeans Allies. “as if the west wanted Iraq to lose it’s history and it’s roots”.
I believe he understands the magnitude of the destruction because he is an artist and an educator.
In his series of conceptual artworks ” burning doors of Baghdad”, Sadoun saw the Iraqi Iranian war as a ” destruction of life”. He also saw the burning doors of Baghdad as art with a very sad perception. He saw the doors before his eyes were burning when the Iranian bombed to his city.Again few years later history repeated itself with George Bush’s believe that it is in the best interest of America and the world to remove Saddam Hussein. In the process Iraq was ‘being destroyed’ and still it is until now.
In an Arabic Culture doors are the only way to enter some ones sanctuary. They are the only Passages to the individuals world. It is everyone holy place. Therefore to have the doors burned down, it means that the whole existence of ones being is vanished.
To the credit of other artists, Robert Overby (1935 – 1993) a California artist has used doors in the 70’s as an aesthetic objects in which he fund beauty in the old surface, the ruff structure and the pealed color of unwanted doors, but Sadoun used the doors to symbolize the distruction of a nation.