They Stole Our Eyes but We Still See, 2023
Photo collage, ceramics, video animation, found objects 

Have you ever seen ancient eye inlays at a museum? They stare back at you in a permanent expression of horror, separated from their sculptural bodies - speaking to a larger, systematic disembodiment levied by Empire.​

Twenty years ago, Iraq’s National Museum and archeological sites were strategically looted upon the Anglo-American invasion. Enabled by a nefarious web of thieves, private collectors, auction houses and even museums, the Mesopotamian antiquities market has been thriving ever since.

In this interactive installation work, viewers were invited to to put on gloves and investigate at a desk that could belong to a museum archivist or perhaps an antique forger. An array of eye inlays “owned” by Western museums and traded at auction houses like Christies and Ebay bring attention to the persistent theft of Iraq's ancient artifacts since the days of European colonization. ​

The projected animation above the desk features a free-use archival photo of a 4000 year-old Sumerian eye inlay from The Met Museum that was acquired in the 1960s. 

This installation was exhibited at OCAD University in April 2023 as part of the group show "Too Big to Fail", which was featured by CBC Arts. 

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