Siah Armajani is best known for his public art—bridges, poetry gardens, gazebos, and reading rooms. His stated intention is to create “neighborly” spaces, architectonic sculptural spaces into which we enter and encounter one another, democratic spaces within the public realm where people are brought together. In this sense, his sculpture has always had a strong social dimension. His latest work, however, decisively enters into the arena of political discourse and, while his current sculpture still embodies democratic ideals, Armajani now expresses those ideals with a profound sense of moral outrage.
Fallujah was shown for the first time last spring at the Artium Museum of Contemporary Art in Vitoria, the regional capital of Basque country in northern Spain. Armajani was invited to exhibit this large and imposing sculpture on the 70th anniversary of Picasso’s 1937 anti-war painting, Guernica (Vitoria is just 40 miles from Guernica). Fallujah was shown in the United States for the first time at the Santa Fe Art Institute, September through October 2007.