Special Exhibitions Gallery, Third Floor And The Donald B. And Catherine C. Marron Atrium, Second Floor, October 12, 2015–January 31, 2016
MoMA presents the first comprehensive American survey of the artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon), whose work in the last 25 years investigates distinctions between fact and fiction, and the ways in which we represent, remember, and make sense of history. The exhibition brings together over 20 bodies of work across various mediums—including photography, video, sculpture, and performance—identifying Raad as a pivotal figure in contemporary art. Dedicated to exploring the veracity of archives and photographic documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world, Raad’s work is informed by his upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war (1975–90), and by the socioeconomic and military policies that have shaped the Middle East in the past few decades.
The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s long-term projects: The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–ongoing). Under the rubric of The Atlas Group, a 15-year project exploring the contemporary history of Lebanon, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon and elsewhere. Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of new infrastructure for the visual arts—comprised of art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region in the past few decades.
The exhibition also includes a series of lecture-performances; Raad will perform in MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium up to five times a week for the duration of the exhibition.
The exhibition will travel to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, February 24–May 30, 2016, and to the Museo Jumex, Mexico City, October 13, 2016–January 14, 2017.
Walid Raad was organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with Katerina Stathopoulou, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography, MoMA.
The exhibition is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
Major support is provided by Oya Eczacıbaşı; A. Huda and Samia Farouki; and by Elham and Tony Salamé, Aïshti Foundation Beirut, with generous funding from Basil and Raghida Rahim; Plurimi Foundation, Maya and Ramzy Rasamny; and from Rana Sadik and Samer Younis.
Research and travel support was provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Education programs for this exhibition are made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America. MoMA Audio+ is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.