Bilal, Wafaa (Photographer); Ridenour, Sheryl; Bordowitz, Gregg & Pass, Victoria (Contributors). WAFAA BILAL: THE HUMAN CONDITION. Chicago, IL: CRUDEOILS, Inc. , 2006. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 50 pages. Fine.

Artist Book. One of Wafaa Bilal's finest achievements. Limited Edition of 300 hand-numbered copies. The first and only edition. Published as a hardcover original only. There is no ISBN. The Limited Edition is now rare. A brilliant production by Wafaa Bilal and Eric Von Haynes: Regular-sized volume format. Black cloth boards with khaki cloth overboards and titles embossed on the cover (in Arabic characters) and spine (in Roman alphabet), as issued. Photographs by Wafaa Bilal. Essays by Sheryl Ridenour, Gregg Bordowitz, and Victoria Pass. Individually and collectively, they represent the best introduction to the art and achievement of Wafaa Bilal. Printed on archival, uncoated stock paper (for the text) and thick, glossy stock paper (for the images) in the United States to the highest standards. The reproduction quality is exemplary in every respect. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Wafaa Bilal's "The Human Condition". Elaborately staged, Surrealist-inspired photographs with a decisive Iraqi sensibility. They are among the artist/photographer's most poetic images, in stark contrast to his frontal-assault works like "Domestic Tension" and "Shoot An Iraqi", his most celebrated performance piece. The art of Wafaa Bilal is political in the best sense. The physical and psychological torture of his people and himself (as an exiled Iraqi-American), his subject, is the result of the endless strife brought about by Saddam Hussein's Reign of Terror and the imperialist War on Terror that replaced it. But this harrowing subject is sublimated, if that is the right word, by his rigorous, formal commitment to art. As such, his imagery is inspired not by anger but by hope, however nearly impossible it is to imagine much less actualize it. The title insists that his people's particular suffering is larger than the never-ending Iraqi/Middle East crisis, that it is the universal human condition incarnated. One of the arresting ways he represents this fact is to show his subjects (including himself) nude, nakedness being our most vulnerable state. An absolute "must-have" title for Wafaa Bilal collectors. This is a copy of the Limited Edition of 300 copies, indicated/numbered as such in pencil on the Back Limitation Page. It is very prominently and beautifully signed, dated (in the year of publication), and inscribed in black ink-pen on the half-title page by the artist/photographer: "To Alan Cohen, with great admiration to your work, Wafaa Bilal 2006". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. The recipient, who is named, is the internationally acclaimed Conceptual artist/photographer. This title is a contemporary Artist Book classic. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the Limited Edition available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. 10 color plates. One of the most brilliant American artist/photographers of our time. A fine copy. . $70.00

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