Adel Abidin, an artist who left Baghdad for Helsinki in 2000, has created Abidin Travels, a satirical travel agency to promote vacation trips to his hometown. This artwork functions as both a website that locates flights and an installation. You can enter the mock agency to find brochures and advertisements absurdly combining horrific images of today's Iraq with typical commercial sales slogans.
Book a flight and get details on hotels, rental cars and tours of Baghdad through Abidin Travels. Keep in mind you will probably only need a one-way ticket, as you may not be returning. Your tour will be full of surprises, maybe an explosion here or there, but “all the beautiful places that you might have read about have either been destroyed or looted. There really are no sights left.” This information and other harrowing vacationing tips can be found at abidintravels.com.
Abidin Travels is on view in the Nordic Pavilion of the Venice Biennale through November 21. This and other works covering themes such as: fundamentalism, identity, nationalism, religion, totalitarianism, and common stereotypes can be viewed on the artist's website. While some pieces maintain equal levels of humor and irony, others, like Construction Site and Common Vocabularies, are quite heartbreaking; all Abidin's works are worth exploring.