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Artist Walid Raad to discuss war, art, and memory

January 19, 2018
artist's work

Walid Raad, Preface to the third edition_Édition française: Plate I, 2012. (Courtesy the artist)

Conceptual artist Walid Raad ’96 (PhD), an associate professor of art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, will be the third speaker in the Humanities Center’s annual public lecture series, devoted this year to the theme of memory and forgetting.

Raad will speak on January 25 in the Hawkins-Carlson Room at Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester’s River Campus.

Raised in Lebanon during its civil war, Raad is the creator of works in photography, video, collage, and multimedia installation that consider the role of memory and narrative in discourse about conflict. In 2015, the Museum of Modern Art hosted the first comprehensive American exhibition of his work. He has also had solo exhibitions at the Louvre and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, among other venues.

In his lecture, titled “Artist Talk,” Raad will introduce his two long-term and ongoing art projects, The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow.

The Atlas Group is a fictional foundation—invented by Raad, who calls himself the group’s archivist—that documents the history of modern Lebanon.

In that project, Raad concentrates on documents, stories, and situations involving the Lebanese wars. In Scratching on things I could disavow, he considers the history of art in the Arab world.

In a 2016 New York Times review of Raad’s Museum of Modern Art retrospective, Holland Cotter described Raad as investigating art’s ability to shape history. He “shows art taking matters into its own hands,” Cotter wrote, “temporarily shrinking and vanishing to sustain a radical life of its own, building new power through self-protective retreat.”

Raad earned both a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University’s Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies.

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Category: The Arts