Ibrahim El-Salahi Untitled from Prison Notebook 1976

  • Not on view

The soldiers line up row a er row; in readiness they wait.

We cross through seven iron gates.

Subjected to a thorough and meticulous body search,

We are then allowed out to be escorted to interrogation.

Hurry up, hurry up, you prisoners of wretchedness.

The same ordeal is to be repeated on our way back to our cells.

At dawn, at the stroke of four,

Lucky is the one who would be brought back to jail.

Lucky is the one who would be brought back to jail.

Lucky is the one who would be brought back to jail.

Ibrahim El-Salahi: This refers to the prison guards. Row after row of prison guards with weapons. Behind them, doors of steel. You cross through those doors after being searched—very, very meticulously searched. The prison guards are always asking you to hurry up. And the thing is repeated continuously. Happy are those who return.

Publication excerpt from Ibrahim El-Salahi. Prison Notebook, 1976. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018.
Ink on paper from a notebook with thirty-eight ink on paper drawings
11 1/4 × 6 3/4" (28.6 × 17.1 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Catie and Donald Marron, Alice and Tom Tisch (in honor of Christophe Cherix), Marnie Pillsbury and Committee on Drawings and Prints Fund
Object number
© 2021 Ibrahim El-Salahi / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London
Associated work
Prison Notebook
Drawings and Prints

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