Rheim Alkadhi: Templates For Liberation

11 June 2024 to 8 September 2024 Institute of Contemporary Arts

A modern art gallery with abstract installations. On the ground are various large, textured materials, including a piece with red shapes protruding. The walls display additional textured, unstructured art pieces. The space is well lit by ceiling lights.
Installation view: Rheim Alkadhi: Templates for Liberation, ICA, London, 2024. Photo: Rob Harris, ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Arts hosts the UK’s first exhibition of artist Rheim Alkadhi

This summer, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (ICA) will host the UK’s first exhibition of artist Rheim Alkadhi. Titled Templates for Liberation, the exhibition addresses the ongoing consequences of war and colonialism in present-day Iraq and the broader region through sculptural installation, archival documentation, and emancipatory counter-histories. The main gallery will feature sculptures made from heavy-duty transport tarpaulins that bear traces of their transnational journeys, creating a space for collective consideration. 

An adjacent reading room will explore Iraq’s colonial borders, resource extraction, and biometric categorisation through archival and speculative materials. Alkadhi’s practice, rooted in the geopolitical contexts of West Asia and North Africa, transforms these tarpaulins—materials tied to Iraq’s oil industry and its ecological and political turmoil—into works that reflect on displacement and resistance. Additionally, in the reading room, Alkadhi introduces a speculative narrative of rebel insurgencies by marginalized groups, reclaiming representation and anti-colonial strategies. It will also include critical documents and representations that highlight the colonial imposition of Iraq’s modern borders and the exploitative anthropometric studies of its people. Alkadhi conceives of this exhibition as a material template for a set of liberatory encounters: to re-imagine global space—and our agency within our short-term inhabiting of it—proposing new ways of refusing the violence and injustice that characterises our times.

Rheim Alkadhi, Artist, says:
In these fields of wild unpredictability—the violence, the void, the unknown—our careful attention to each other is imperative, for we are teaching each other things.— Transynchronic Rebel

Bengi Ünsal, ICA Director, says:
We are absolutely delighted to be able to present Rheim Alkadhi’s first UK exhibition at the ICA. Alkadhi’s practice embodies the kind of urgent engagement with the reality of our times through a unique artistic perspective we are proud to support.

Further Information:  ICA | Rheim Alkadhi: Templates for Liberation