An Introduction

In 2017, German artist Klaus Killisch and US poet Robert Fitterman–both founding members of the art collective Collective Task–were invited by the Goethe-Institut Irak to collaborate with about a dozen art students and emerging artists from Baghdad, under the supervision of Hella Mewis. For Collective Task, founded in 2008 and now with over 30 participants worldwide, this was an exciting proposal. Over the years, it has been our collective’s goal to include more International artists, so the opportunity to collaborate remotely with artists from Baghdad was thrilling.

In our first webinar, we introduced the Baghdad artists to Collective Task and showed them several of our responses. In a second webinar, we introduced and oversaw the logistics of choosing a task collectively. Both webinars offered a lively exchange: the artists in Baghdad were very interested in Collective Task and exceeding gracious to be part of our project.

After these webinars, the Baghdad artists chose a “task” (among many offerings): MAKE MUSIC WITH YOUR OWN TOOLS! As is the guideline with Collective Task, they had one month to complete their artwork. The artists embraced this opportunity very seriously and created extraordinary works in video, photography, text, sound, and mixed media. The responses for this Collective Task one-month feature can be found below.

In addition to this online presentation of the Collective Task artworks, these art students and emerging artists will be exhibiting their artworks at the Bait Tarkib art center. This collaboration was made possible by the TARKIB Baghdad Contemporary Arts Institute, in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut Irak.

Robert Fitterman & Klaus Killisch

Make music with your own tools!


Jumana Ridha

time sculpture/video

Ann Ibrahim

Alyaa Al Maliki

Collective Task, Baghdad, 2017, Alyaa Al Maliki

Akram Assam

Collective Task, Baghdad, 2017, Akram Assam

Listen to silence.
Do you hear the voice of the city after a military storm?
What did you hear?
What did you see?
Is everything over?

Ahmed Al Saad

Zaid Saad

Muhaned Taha

Collective Task, Baghdad, 2017, Muhaned Taha, painting/live, performance (time sculpture)
Collective Task, Baghdad, 2017, Muhaned Taha, painting/live, performance (time sculpture)

Hussain Motar

Collective Task, Baghdad, 2017, Hussain Motar

Hussam Mohammed

Ameen Mokdad

composition (photo showing the locked entrance of the National Library in Mosul)

Ali Eyal

5 minutes lucid dreams and deep sleep.
“The listener must be gripped and whether he likes it or not, drawn into the flight path of the sounds without special training being necessary. The sensual shock must be just as forceful as when one hears a clap of thunder or looks into a bottomless abyss”. Iannis Xenakis
How my images attempts to move in music, in the system of music. It’s deep dreams and lucid, beats lucidity. I just putted some of my images and I have converted them as a sound piece. and I played all of them as one rethym for you.
1. My passport.
2. Our burnt car.
3. My grandfather.
4. When I was a child.