Category: Michael Rakowitz

Michael Rakowitz | A Replica Of The Replica

Spoils (2011) Menu cover image
Spoils (2011) Menu cover image

The artwork of American Iraqi artist Michael Rakowitz, his conceptual sculptures and interventions, can be seen to be one of re-discovering his Iraqi cultural roots and thus a determination of his own identity. His ‘interventions’ are more like gatherings, and in 2011 he collaborated with a posh New York restaurant to create a signature Venison dish with an Iraqi flavour to it by serving it on a bed of ‘Debes Wa Rashi’ – a traditional Iraqi dessert with Tahini and date syrup, together with nuts, scallions and pomegranate seeds.

Spoils (2011) Michael Rakowitz
Spoils (2011) Michael Rakowitz

Entitled Spoils (2011) this would prove to be more than just a gourmet fusion dish that would make everyone happy for the night, for they were served on Saddam Hussein’s own dinner plates, which bear his seal, and taken from his Royal Palace during the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

Spoils (2011) Saddam Hussein's seal
Spoils (2011) Saddam Hussein’s seal

Rakowitz also managed to provide dinner plates which used to belong to King Faisal II, the handsome last king of Iraq, who was killed in a military coup at the age of 23.

Spoils (2011) King Faisal II's dinner plates
Spoils (2011) King Faisal II’s dinner plates
Spoils (2011) King Faisal II's dinner plates
Spoils (2011) King Faisal II’s dinner plates

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