• The Birth of an Eagle 1, 2012 - Athier
  • The Destruction of an Eagle 6, 2012 - Athier

3.13 | Athier | The Birth & Destruction of an Eagle

March 18th 2013

Drawing inspiration from his old Iraqi passport, Athier revisits the pan-Arab symbol of the Eagle of Saladin, questioning its persistence and highlighting the power of semiotics to create a sense of unity. He imagines the eagle as a living being and questions the materials that would create the nest of this falsehood, contrasting embryonic imagery of tissue, blood vessels, cells and ova, with hard materials and intrusive shapes. He asks, “How do you destroy something that is not real, or tangibly remove something intangible?” His chronicle is ominous, drawing on Shia imagery of Hussain’s decapitation in Karbala to portray the severed head of Saladin’s Eagle on a lance. These portrayals are flawlessly executed in the significant scale with which his work has become synonymous, supplemented with micronarratives incorporating the visual vocabulary of his mythologies. The prints undergo several iterations of drawing and enlarging, each introducing new elements in a monographic expression atypical of the artist’s familiar brilliant colors.