School 33 Art Center
Rauschenberg

Exhibits

Taha Heydari: Dual-Use: Baltimore to Samarra

05/11/2018 - 06/23/2018
Taha Heydari: Dual-Use: Baltimore to Samarra Taha Heydari
Dual-Use: Baltimore to Samarra
Members Gallery
On view May 11 - June 23, 2018
Free opening reception on Friday, May 18, 6-9pm.

Between 1984 and 1988, 36 shipments of Thiodiglycol (TDG)—a total of 528 tons— left Alcolac International, an industrial chemical plant in Baltimore, en route to the port of Antwerp. The consignment was then transshipped to the port of Aqaba in Jordan and trucked across the desert to Baghdad, where it was transferred to the Muthanna State Establishment—Iraq’s chemical warfare production complex near Samarra.
While Thiodiglycol is utilized as a solvent in a variety of applications ranging from textile dye to the ink in ballpoint pens, it is also used in the production of the chemical weapon sulfur mustard, commonly known as mustard gas. Exposure to mustard agents causes permanent alkylation of DNA strands, preventing cellular division ultimately leading to programmed cell death.

At 11am on March 16th, 1988, an estimate of twenty aircraft attacked Halabja, a Kurdish city across the Iran-Iraq border. The chemicals dropped by the planes included mustard gas, and the nerve agents sarin, tabun, and VX. The estimated number of civilians killed during the five- hour attack ranges from 3,200-5,000, with an additional 7,000-10,000 injured—up to 75% of the victims were women and children.

Taha Heydari is an Iranian artist born in Tehran in 1986. Dual-Use: Baltimore to Samarra is his first solo exhibition in Baltimore, Maryland.