White Stallion, 1991

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART 16634
Art and Popular Design
  • Support: paper
  • whole: wood
  • whole: rubber
  • medium: wood
  • medium: Photograph
  • medium: collage
  • Support: Height 541 mm, Width 662 mm
  • Board Supports: Depth 1.5 mm
  • Wooden Panels: Depth 18 mm
  • Installed Work: Height 1625, Width 1990
Alternative names
  • object category: Photograph
  • object category: installation

© Rasheed Araeen

Purchase & License
Object description

image: A cut-out from a poster of Saddam Hussain superimposed over a photograph of US General Schwarzkopf (taken from a television screen). The General Schwarzkopf is giving a press conference on a podium draped with the American flag on one side and the Saudi Arabian flag on the other. The brightly coloured poster image of Saddam Hussain sitting astride a white stallion was published in Pakistan and sold over 2 million copies. This image forms the central panel of a cruciform. The other four panels are identical television pictures of US AWAC 'spy' planes coming into land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, each with a collage of Urdu script at the bottom edge. The pictorial panels are 'filled in' by green painted panels - an allusion to nature, rawness, youth and immaturity.


London-based Araeen was visiting Pakistan during the Gulf War in 1991 and watched the early stages of the war on CNN news. Saddam Hussein enjoyed wide support in Pakistan and a poster of him riding a white horse sold two million copies there. Araeen superimposed this image of Hussein over a photograph of a television screen showing General Schwartzkopf, the US Commander-in-Chief, giving a press conference. Hussein appears to be signalling defiance, but the surrounding cross of planes threaten his bravado. The image of Hussein refers to both Islamic and Western historical sources. Through these layers Araeen demonstrates that propaganda relies on cultural associations, but undermines this by highlighting the cross-cultural origins of our points of reference.

Physical description

A collage in nine separate parts. Five individual images mounted on backing board and four wooden panels that, when connected together, make a whole image.

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All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.