This monograph centres on Vartan Avakian's work on miniature sculptures of forgotten leaders from failed coups d'etats.  The artwork won the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2013, a platform that displays artist talent from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

'Reconstituted from the minimal archival traces they left behind, these almost important figures are presented in a form proper for a commemoration of power: a statue of the man, standing tall, proud and triumphant.  However, though these statues are cast in gold and are photographically precise, they measure in at a diminutive five centimetres; their toy soldier-like stature indexes both the men's failed attempts to seize power and their subsequent near erasure from the historical record.' - from back cover.

The artist tries to diminish the power of the forgotten historical figures by placing them in the small glass sphere to roll around infinitely, and by sculpting them in such a small size, and by grouping them together to repeat and increase their failures.

A section is devoted to reproductions of archival materials that the artist gathered for his research.

The artist's works are exhibited during Art Dubai 2013 along with other finalists of the Prize.

Includes an artist's biography.
Alternative title

extra|ordinary | The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2013

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Murtaza VALI

Location code MON.AVV2


Publication/Creation date


No of pages




No of copies


Content type

artist monograph, 


Chapter headings
An extra|ordinary Introduction

- Murtaza VALI

A Letter

- Walid SADEK

Of Heroes, Bastards, and Failures


Wrestling History: Vartan Avakian in conversation with Murtaza Vali
Vartan Avakian - A Very Short History of Tall Men
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Vartan Avakian - A Very Short History of Tall Men