The New Museum in New York is host to a show running from February 11 through March 22, 2009, entitled “It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq.” British artist Jeremy Deller developed the collaborative project, which is meant to encourage discussion about the present circumstances in Iraq, while maintaining politically neutrality. A revolving cast of veterans, journalists, scholars, and Iraqi nationals have been invited to take up residence in the New Museum’s gallery space to converse with the public about their areas of expertise and experiences. The only object in the exhibit is the remnant of a car that was destroyed in March of 2007 in a suicide bombing in Baghdad on Al-Mutanabbi Street, the site of cafés and bookstores. Thirty people perished in the explosion.
The artist will take a three-week road trip, traveling from New York to Los Angeles in an RV with a writer and two Iraq experts, taking the conversation to all parts of the country along the way. The show will arrive at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles on April 17, 2009,remaining there until May 31. In October it will move to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.