Objects removed for Study consists of the recreation of a fraction of the Library of Ashurbanipal by a group of women from the Iraqi community in London. The original library present in the British Museum, is the oldest preserved library in the world, and comprises a series of ceramic books and ceramic artifacts, originally from Nineveh, present-day Mosul in Iraq. The aim of the library was to serve as a guide for King Ashurbanipal and to help him to take the best decisions for his empire. The majority of the content comprises information relating to omens, divinatory texts and astrological interpretations.
Inspired by this role, Objects removed for Study asks a group of Iraqi women to rewrite books from this library with messages and commentaries that respond to the contemporary situation in Iraq – one that represents a moment of new opportunities after years of dictatorship, occupation and internal turmoil. Each new ceramic piece suggests a hypothetical Ashurbanipal for the present day.
Objects removed for Study strives to rethink identity critically in the contemporary context of displacements, as well as the role that these artefacts, colonized years ago, can serve in articulating new sensibilities and possibilities today.