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A project by Tom Bogaert for Ibraaz

003 / 27 September 2012

Country: Syria

Title: Soundtrack to Minecraft Mausoleum


Length: 3 minutes 57 seconds


Producer: Hungaraton Records


Year: 1997


Description: 'Song for Lenin' from the CD 'Best of Communism, selection of revolutionary songs'


Background: Minecraft Mausoleum is an online video game version of 'mausoleum for a president'.  Syrian president Bashar Al Assad is known to be a computer geek. He used to be head of the 'Syrian Computer Society' and opened up his country to the internet at the beginning of the millennium. In the face of the Arab Spring's general enthusiasm for online tools, Minecraft Mausoleum utilises Minecraft - an online building game - as context and medium to present a model of a Mausoleum for Al Assad.



Country: Jordan


Title: Background sound from K is for Kompressor


Length: 2  minutes 56 seconds


Producer: Tom Bogaert


Year: 2010


Description: An afternoon in Amman featuring, among other things, a truck blowing its horn, an airplane and helicopter flying overhead, wind and above all, the gas cars and their ubiquitous melody.


Background: K is for Kompressor (KfK) is a filmed Hollywood-style sign featuring the letter 'K' from the Mercedes-Benz 'kompressor' logo. In this piece the artist further explores intersections between enlightened absolutism and badges used by Mercedes-Benz for their supercharged engines.




Country: Iraq


Title: The Plane that Flew into the Empire State Building


Length: 3 minutes 3 seconds


Producer: Universal Studios


Year: 1945


Description: On the 28th of July, 1945 an Army bomber pilot on a routine ferry mission found himself lost in the fog over Manhattan. The plane hit the Empire State Building at the 79th floor.  Fourteen people were killed.


Background: At the League of Nations San Remo conference in April 1920, the British Empire committed itself to state-building in Iraq. It was state-building by imperialistic outsiders ('Empire state-building'): an external intervention into a foreign territory that attempted to legitimise itself in terms of betterment of the population it claimed to be helping.




Country: Lebanon


Title: Background sound from Pavement Popsicles


Length: 4 minutes 3 seconds


Producer: Siska


Year: 2011


Description: August in Hamra, Beirut


Background: Pavement Popsicles - made in collaboration with Siska - shows Tom Bogaert fixing broken glass curb markers by placing exact copies of the markers made out of ice in the gaps created by the missing lenses. The ice versions of the lenses are modelled after original lenses obtained from the Municipality of Beirut after a five-day quest deep inside the hot and humid core of the city's management system.




Country: Palestine

Title: Soundtrack to And Did Those Feet

Length: 3 minutes 52 seconds

Producer: Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Year: 1974

Description: Live version of anthem 'Jerusalem,' by Emerson, Lake and Palmer's on their 1974 'Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends ... Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake & Palmer' album.

Background: And Did Those Feet is a site-specific installation for Al Hoash gallery in Jerusalem.   Tom Bogaert projects 35mm slides of Emerson, Lake and Palmer on slices of 'Siniora Al Quds' chicken luncheon meat accompanied by their 1974 live version of 'Jerusalem' on vinyl.

About the artist

Tom Bogaert

Tom Bogaert came to art over a decade ago after practicing refugee law. His artistic practice is organized through long-term research projects that often examine the intersection of humanism and human rights, politics and entertainment, and art and propaganda.


Bogaert moved to Amman, Jordan in 2009 and has since produced a series of works under a project called Impression, proche orient, which draws from his experience as a foreigner living and working in the Arab World and uses irony and criticism to interrogate the layers of his own understanding of contemporary issues throughout the region. He is currently working on Voyage, voyage a research-based work that deals with migration and curatorial romanticism through the figure of the strawberry plant-a radicant or meandering plant forever on the move. It will be presented in Casablanca, Morocco at The Ultra Laboratory and Galerie Fatma Jellal in June 2016.