Preface to the third edition, Acknowledgements, 2014 – 2017
What happens when objects go on a journey? Not much, one would think. Maybe they get a few knocks, some objects get broken, but they essentially remain what they always were: themselves. Raad would disagree with that assertion. During his research stay at the Louvre in Paris, he made an exciting discovery. Certain objects from the Islamic Department on loan to the Louvre-Dependence in Abu Dhabi had changed shape during the trip! More precisely, they had intersected with other objects from the same transport crates. This created a third, a mixed object. And as if that were not enough, these mixed objects – like Peter Schlemihl in his day – had also lost their shadows!
What does Raad’s discovery tell us? That artists are notorious liars and should be run out of town, as Plato recommended? Or that we have to learn to look awry in museums?