Scratching on Things I Could Disavow_A History of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World Part I _ Chapter 1 (Beirut 1992-2005). Index XXVI, Artists, Tahhan Wall | 2011
Drywall, paint, wood, vinyl, inkjet prints. Dimension variable, to be adapted to the space. Ed.1/1AP
On this wall, written in Arabic, are the names of men and women who have worked in Lebanon as painters and sculptors over the past century. The names are painted white on white, appearing faintly. Walid Raad says he has been receiving these names telepathically from the artists. Some of the names were misspelled and someone, alternatively designated by Raad as a “dancer”, a “cook” and “a guardian of Lebanese modern and contemporary art”, corrected them, using spray paint to mark the errors. This unexpected incident led Raad to research the artists. Among them was Johnny Tahhan whose name had been inscribed as “Jean Tafan”. Tahhan, was born in Egypt in 1930 and died in Beirut in 1989 after spending many years in a wheelchair. Raad placed on this wall various documents including newspaper articles, letters and photographs, over Tahhan’s name sprayed in red. The “Tahhan Wall” is part of “Scratching on things I could disavow”, a project initiated in 2007 on the history of art in the Arab World.
Biography of the artist
Born in Chbanieh, Lebanon. 1967
Works and Lives in New York City, U.S.A
Walid Raad is an artist and a Professor of Art in (the still-charging-tuition) The Cooper Union (New York, USA). Raad’s works include "The Atlas Group", a fifteen-year project between 1989 and 2004 about the contemporary history of Lebanon, and the ongoing projects "Scratching on Things I Could Disavow" and "Sweet Talk: Commissions" (Beirut). His books include "Walkthrough", "The Truth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is Dead", "My Neck Is Thinner Than A Hair", "Let’s Be Honest The Weather Helped", and "Scratching on Things I Could Disavow".
Raad’s solo exhibitions include the "Louvre" (Paris), "The Museum of Modern Art" (New York, USA), "ICA"(Boston, USA), "Museo Jumex" (Mexico City, Mexico), "Kunsthalle Zurich" (Zurich, Switzerland), "The Whitechapel Art Gallery" (London, UK), "Festival d’Automne" (Paris, France), "Kunsten Festival des Arts (Brussels", Belgium), "The Hamburger Bahnhof" (Berlin, Germany). His works have also been shown in "Documenta 11" and 13 (Kassel, Germany), "The Venice Biennale" (Venice, Italy), "Whitney Bienniale 2000" and 2002 (New York, USA), "Sao Paulo Bienale" (Sao Paulo, Brazil), "Istanbul Biennal" (Istanbul, Turkey), "Homeworks I" and III (Beirut, Lebanon) and numerous other museums, biennales and venues in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.
Raad is also the recipient of the "ICP Infinity Award" (2016), the "Hasselblad Award" (2011), a "Guggenheim Fellowship" (2009), the "Alpert Award" in Visual Arts (2007), the "Deutsche Börse Photography Prize" (2007), the "Camera Austria Award" (2005), a "Rockefeller Fellowship" (2003), among other grants, prizes and awards.
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