Organs of the Outlandish
The trouble with Vital, accessory, and auxiliary organs begins the moment they make themselves felt. Only through the disavowal of organs as internal or external objects can the masters of their prosthetics exploit them. No figure other than the prosthetic master encapsulates the unsteady compound of anxiety and hubris, loss and compensation, narcissistic wounds, and phallic fantasies. The trouble with the magnificence of the organ happens as it quickly turns awry once it founders or reveals its exteriority. Like the fetish, the organ-turned-intruder enslaves its subject.
Mahmoud Obaidi's Hidden Messages and Make War Not Love estrange the histories of exploitation and dispassion with the advent of colonial industrial capitalism. These works reveal inklings of primal scenes that are short-circuited. Human body parts drop in and out in favor of phallic organs, orifices, accessory organs, prostheses, tanks, weapons and machines.
Mahmoud Obaidi is an Iraqi-Canadian artist practicing in Beirut, Qatar and Canada. His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the globe, including MoMA Ps1, British Museum and Mathaf amongst numerous others.