They Came to Baghdad
Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari
Published by Eighteen Publications
"Baghdad is the chosen location for a secret superpower meeting" in Agatha Christie's They Came to Baghdad. The book has been translated into more than 30 languages and has been published continuously since it first appeared in England in 1951 when Iraq was under British mandate. In our artists' book, They Came to Baghdad, Christie's 40 book covers conjure an exotic site for diplomatic, as well as personal romantic intrigue. They parallel the second chapter, excerpts and images of the 40 countries that have participated in the Multi-National Force deploying troops to Iraq between 2003 and 2011. In our third and final chapter, the invasion continues; it's an index of corporate logos of the contractors and subcontractors hired for the reconstruction of Iraq and the major foreign investors involved.For this work we have embraced a studio practice based entirely on websearch, not only from traditional media source, but also from alternative sources that have now entered the public sphere. From ebay and amazon, blog entries around the world translated through Google Translate, flickr and myspace all contributed to our visual narrative.