Walid Raad is a Lebanese visual artist who until 2004 worked under the name ‘The Atlas Group’. Under the guise of this fictional collective, Raad would often act as an anonymous guide during his own exhibitions, revealing to the viewers deeper layers and interconnections behind the exhibited objects and stories.
‘Les Louvres and/or Kicking the Dead’ follows the same practice: Raad takes visitors on a special tour of his exhibition in which real events, fiction and the artist’s commentary are all intertwined. In one and a half hours viewers travel from the First World War museum in Belgium to the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, making a stop in New York. The stories behind the characters and images – art objects and their shadows, a museum guard, a secretive art collection, and the two tallest buildings in Manhattan – attempt to solve a real-imagined mystery, turning the performance into intriguing detective story.
Walid Raad has been an artist and associate professor at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, author of several significant solo exhibitions and publications; had exhibitions at Louvre, New York’s MoMA, Whitechapel art gallery in London, The Venice Bennale in Venice, Italy, Sao Paolo biennial, Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, The Whitney Biennial in New York, etc.
Walid Raad is one of the few internationally recognised artists who raises awareness of visual art institutions about ideological, economic and political dimensions, especially in the countries of Persian Gulf. Raad was growing up the complexity of the Lebanese Civil War, so his works always channel a topic of violence and its impact on body, mind, culture and tradition. Raad uses video, photography, drawing, sculpture and theatre.
Conceived and performed by Walid Raad
Touring support: Celeste Rottiers
Technical support: Herman Sorgeloos
A coproduction with steirischerherbst; Buda / NEXT Festival; HAU Hebbel am Ufer; Fast Forward Festival / Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens; Le CENTQUATRE-PARIS; Festival d’Automne à Paris
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