Darth Saddam: The Icons of Evil Empires
Did Darth Vader inspire Saddam Hussein toward evil? Michael Rakowtiz thinks so, and he’s using that question to launch an exhibit that compares the artistic stylings of the former Iraqi leader to those that appear in the iconic Star Wars movies.
“Do diabolical minds look up to villains in the same way that good men and women idolize heroes? In his exhibition, “cultural archeologist” Michael Rakowitz presents evidence that Saddam Hussein may have fancied himself to be like the Sith Lord Darth Vader. The exhibition is entitled “The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own”, which is taken from Saddam’s declaration after Iraq’s victory over Iran. The Hands of Victory monument, shown left, was commissioned by Saddam to commemorate the victory.
As he passed through the monument on the day of its inauguration in August 1989, Saddam declared, “The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own or to be forced down a path which is not willed by him”. The monument, which is located in Central Baghdad, does indeed look similar to a drawing in one of the movie postersof The Empire Strikes Back.”
Are there some similarities stylistically between some monuments that Saddam built to the Star Wars films? Sure. Do I think Saddam went out to consciously emulate the evil empire? Nah. Is it a great way to garner publicity for your artistic talents or lack thereof? Sure.