New Bagdad 2003, Welded aluminum 13 3/4 x 78 3/4 x 64 in.

New Bagdad

2003, Welded aluminum
13 3/4 x 78 3/4 x 64 in.

Ezri Tarazi

New Bagdad is a low table created out of industrially produced aluminum profiles hand-welded together. The irregular form is that of the Iraqi city, site of decades of conflict and its aftermath. Bagdad is and had always been home to diverse groups and peoples bound together by geography, luck, chance, or fate. Making a coherent city out of disparate parts is – in war or not – society’s constant struggle and hope.

Prof. Ezri Tarazi is an Israeli designer and educator based in Jerusalem. He comments about New Bagdad that the “many tiny pieces can be thought of as magical, mystical ideograms arranged in a multifarious but harmonious pattern. The table represents the ritual dimensions of hospitality. And hospitality, in a biblical sense, invites us to welcome the outcast to our table and share our meal. The project is a gesture of hope: a hope that something extraordinary will be born from chaos. In design, just as in nature, there is a harmony in disharmony; there is perfection in imperfection.”

Edra, a major Italian design firm, produced two different versions of New Bagdad. It was recognized as one of the highlights of the 2005 International Furniture Fair in Milan.