... and at night we leave our dreams on window sill, memory of a place. (detail)
... and at night we leave our dreams on window sill,
memory of a place. (detail)
, 2000
Wall installation: mixed media on BFK Rives paper
Lent by the artist
(Photo: Harry Foster  © Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation)



" [...] I define my cultural identity in the context of the practice of art, employing iconography of mixed cultural origins (Sumerian, Chaldean, Arab).

I address culture, displacement, and the definition of one's identity in the context of exile [...]. Thus, I strive in my work to refer the circumstances around me to broader geopolitical and social questions-affirming both culture and identity, on the one hand, and my artistic position vis-à-vis the political and the aesthetic, on the other hand. "


Excerpts from the artist's statement




Farouk Kaspaules is an Iraqi-born Canadian artist, who left Iraq in the mid-1970s for political reasons. After a brief stay in the United States, he chose Canada as his country of exile. Since his arrival, he has earned degrees from the Visual Arts Department of Ottawa University in studio profile (1997) and art theory (1998), and has been active in artist-run centres and community organizations. Although he favours the traditional mediums of painting and engraving, he also uses silkscreen photography and video in his works.

Farouk Kaspaules
Farouk Kaspaules, Ottawa, Ontario, 1999
Camille Zakharia
Iris digital prints
Collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization


Farouk Kaspaules' mixed cultural origins-Christian, Chaldean/Sumerian, Islamic/Arab-have not only influenced his artwork, but also enriched his artistic practices. He uses icons of diverse ancient cultures and mixes them with symbols and elements borrowed from modern cultures- inspired in this by the American painter and engraver Robert Motherwell.

... and at night we leave our dreams on window sill, memory of a place.
... and at night we leave our dreams on window sill,
memory of a place.
, 2000
Wall installation: mixed media on BFK Rives paper
Lent by the artist
(Photo: Harry Foster  © Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation)

His interest in personal and cultural displacement is associated with broader geopolitical and social questions. His various representational strategies address issues of war, violence, identity, marginality and gender. During his first European exhibition in London, England, in 1993, he established links with other exiled artists from the Mideast, specifically from Iraq. These encounters led to a turning point in his artistic production, which became more politically explicit.

Farouk Kaspaules has participated in some 20 solo and collective exhibitions in Canada, England, Hungary, Chile and Brazil.

fkaspaules@yahoo.com