Arahmaiani is one of Indonesia's most widely traveled and exhibited artist, recognized mainly for her practice in performance and installation art. Educated at the Bandung Institute of Technology in the early 1980s, Arahmaiani's multi-disciplinary practice extends beyond performance and installation to encompass painting, drawing, dance, music and poetry. She has exhibited at the Venice, Gwangju and Sao Paulo biennales, the Asia-Pacific Triennial, as well as noted exhibitions such as Cities on the Move (various locations, beginning 1990) and Global Feminism (Brooklyn Museum, 2007).
War of terror on terror continues Arahmaiani's interest in creating visual parables through the medium of painting. The work emerges from her advocacy to address religious and political issues, including the upturn of fundamentalism in post-9/11 religion and politics, the clamorous political and social movements fueling unrest around the world and the globalization of capitalism and neo-liberalism.
In the present lot, Mickey Mouse is the emblem of Americanism, at the mast of a ship assailed by kamikaze figures perched on green-coloured missiles, a reference to the geopolitical and religious conflict between Islam and the West, led by America. According to the artist, the story in War of terror on terror "goes along with the 'story' that has been told by those in power - that there is the Moslem terrorist group attacking America. But they always forget to mention why there is this group of people. Mickey is actually 'a guy up there' who actually knows the real story!" (Artist's email correspondence with Christie's, 2 April 2009)