Author(s): Eva Respini
Lebanese artist Walid Raad is one of the leading artists of his generation and an influential voice in art from the Middle East. Published to accompany the first comprehensive exhibition of his work in the United States, this catalogue surveys three decades of Raad's unique practice in a variety of mediums - including photography, video and performance - and examines the critical intersections that have defined the notable career of this inventive artist. Beginning with his groundbreaking project The Altas Group (1989-2004), to his recent sweeping work on the history of art in the Arab world (2007-ongoing), the publication offers an overview of Raad's career and features his most momentous bodies of work. Essays by curators and scholars place Raad's art in the context of contemporary image making in photography and video, as well as art made in Lebanon since the 1960s; provide an overview of Raad's performance lectures in relationship to his oeuvre; and examine Raad's most recent bodies of work made in the Islamic galleries at the Louvre and Metropolitan Museum of Art, which explores the history, collecting, and display of historical and modern art and artifacts from the Arab world and Iran. A special 10 page contribution by Raad presents a fictional interview with multiple artists, which provides rare insight into the artist's working method and addresses various themes that run throughout his work.