Installation view, 'The Blue Hour', Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany, 2018.

Self Portrait as a Power Structure

2018, wooden and rubber stamps, paper, variable dimensions

These visa stamps representing decades of movement between various countries were extracted directly from the artist’s own passport. They were isolated in the printed form they take on the page, complete with their smudges and misprints, and re-etched to form new physical stamps.

The ink for each stamp is specifically tailored to match its original appearance. Even the wood used to craft the stamp bodies comes from a species of tree specific to its corresponding country. The artist has forged a personal assembly of the bureaucracies which control people’s movement, reclaiming and inverting the power they held over him.

Self Portrait as a Power Structure was part of a performance by Barakeh on 12.06.2023 on the occasion of Weaving the Present, Shaping the Future, a socially engaged project and artistic intervention at The MAC Belfast.

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