Widowsweave is an awareness raising series of performances highlighting the conditions of Iraqi Widows who often struggle to acquire even basic necessities such as clean water or adequate shelter. Through artistic durational activities the artist and public participants mark 3,000,000 lines representing the number of Iraqi widows from 30 years of war, tyranny and sanctions.


Kevin Valentine will have three new pieces in the Faculty Show at North Central College, Naperville. The reception is April 8th, from 6-8

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Events

Watch for upcoming information on Eyes Wide Open event on the 13th and 14th of April.

Also Widowsweave thesis exhibit will be taking place from April 23-May 14th.  check back for event schedule.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Peace to Iraq: Bundle of Branches

Ideas #24: hang the Widowsweave: Peace bundle of branches in chalk room and spend time writing "Peace" & Al-Salaam.

#25: place bundle on slab in entryway.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Water for Widows

# 22 & 23: Another proposal would be Water for Widows, covering the entire surface of the granite slab with glasses of clean water - or just one glass in the center.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

21 Widowsweave Actions

20 Widowsweave actions (which may be performed during exhibit)

 1. Draw 3,000,000 lines
 2. Crouch on floor of chalk room for one hour
 3. Self or performer, rolling on chalked floor
 4. Sit on end of slab
 5. Two veterans sit on both ends of slab
 6. Two widows sit on both ends of slab
 7. Stand back-to-back in chalked room
 8. Fill entire space with people, exit one by one at 5 sec intervals
 9. Perform choreographed piece – self, dancer, or both – separately or together
10. Read speech or talk from center of room
11. Sit and hold discussion in chalk room, about art and women in Muslim society
12. Read names of Iraqi widows in Chicago – self or widow
13. Iraqis sit, facing out, on slab in circle
14. Jaber speaking/interviewed on Iraqi women
15. Kevin interviewed
16. Panel discussion with Iraqi women
17. Iraqi woman (or artist) draws one line down center of back wall
18. Groups chalk lines
19. Sweep up extra chalk into pile
20. Play If I Could Sing in space
21. Sing If I Could Sing in space a cappella

Friday, March 19, 2010

Iraqimemorial.org - Joseph DeLappe

Thanks to Victoria B. for showing me Joseph DeLappe's  iraqimemorial.org.
This is an online open proposal site for memorials to civilian casualties in Iraq. They are just proposals, the way NYC solicited proposals for a 9/11 memorial.

There is a great list of charities to donate to.  How come there is still no way to give to widows?  They just seem to be forgotten.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Widowsweave Installation

Widowsweave installation is in progress.  The entry room is almost finished here.
Panels for the final chalk room

The entry with lights off looking through to the back wall

Monday, March 8, 2010

Peace to Iraq on Election Day

Today my wife Mary and I and  our good friend Alan, who speaks Arabic as one of his five languages, joined Jaber's extended family and friends to draw Peace and  السالم (Al Salam) in the sand.  At Loyola beach in the cool rain it felt festive, celebrating the election - it felt to me personally like a Thanksgiving celebration, with extended family and select friends all joyous and hopeful.

The original intent was to draw English and Arabic translations of Peace for each of the elected positions in today's vote.  Online I thought that there were to be 440, but when I followed through, it seemed that there were 440 provincial elected officials in 2009, and that this year there were 440 banned candidates (or one report said "more that 440").  After changing a flier to reflect "banned" instead of "elected" it turned out impossible to calculate exactly how many times we inscribed peace in the rain-dampened sand.  Jaber and Alan each did well over 50, I did 50 and everyone else worked some.  So this count is a best-guess estimate, like a count at an election rally, when official estimators say there are 10,000 in attendance.  I am saying that we did about 325 - which is the number elected to parliament in today's election.  I also made an executive decision to average the number of strokes at 20 per pair - 8 for السالم and 12 for PEACE.

So for Lines in the Sand, we are estimating 6500 lines or 325 x 20.  Of course this was much more than any line total or simple tally; it was the gathering of hope, aspiration and love for Iraq, for the Alturfee family and friends and for Iraqi widows.

السالم, Peace

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

43 Days performance totals

We made our goal by drawing lines on almost all beaches from Calumet Park to Gillson Park.

43 Days performance total: 436,913 lines
(goal 430,000)
Widowsweave: Lines in the Sand total: 460,053 lines
(goal 3,000,000)
Wk 7 Sun. 2/28: 13,912
Wk 6 total: 58,345
Wk 5 total: 67,286
Wk 4 total: 30,110
Wk 3 total: 71,900
Wk 2 total: 85,810
Wk 1 total: 109,550
Previous Lines in the Sand: 23,140