Scratching on things I could disavow: Appendix XVIII_Plates 9-526 | 2016
32 inkjet prints (Archival inks and paper). Various dimensions. Ed.1/1 +1AP
"The Lebanese wars of the past three decades affected Lebanon’s residents physically and psychologically: from the 100,000 plus who were killed; to the 200,000 plus who were wounded; to the one million plus who were displaced; to the even more who were psychologically traumatized. Needless to say, the wars also affected Lebanese cities, buildings and institutions.
It is clear to me today that these wars also affected colors, lines, shapes and forms. Some of these are affected in a material way and, like burned books or razed monuments, are physically destroyed and lost forever. Others are affected in a more subtle way. They are not destroyed. They are not removed from view. Yet, these colors, lines, shapes and forms are treated by some artists as though they were affected physically.
It also seems that some colors, lines, shapes and forms, sensing the forthcoming danger, deploy defensive measures. They hide, take refuge, hibernate, camouflage and/or dissimulate. When they hid, I expected them to do so in the artworks of past artists. I thought their paintings, sculptures and drawings would be their most hospitable hosts. I was wrong. Instead, they took cover in unexpected places: They hid in Roman and Arabic letters, numbers and words, in circles, rectangles and squares, in yellow, blue and green. They camouflaged themselves as official letters, university dissertations and exhibition catalogues. They took refuge in architectural diagrams and financial spread¬sheets, in budgets and price lists. They dissimulated as book covers and indices.
These are the colors, lines, shapes and forms that compose the 32 plates on display on this wall." (W. Raad)
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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