This fall the School for Contemporary Arts and SFU Galleries are hosting Walid Raad and Jalal Toufic, contemporaries whose art and writing are, almost uncannily, aligned. Walid Raad was AVAIR in Fall 2016 and returns to present his exhibition Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut 1994) in Audain Gallery. Jalal Toufic will present a series of lectures and screenings, his first in Canada.
The works of Raad and Toufic destabilize narratives of history by way of fictive philosophical and logical constructions that fold time. Each artist’s work engages a divergent range of topics, but repeatedly returns to query the history of Lebanon and its civil wars. Always eschewing a positivist reading, their works ask us to consider the form, logic and conditions of the question as to how violence affects bodies, minds and culture.
Fiction has to reveal to us the anomalous, labyrinthine space-time of ruins; and, in case no ruins subsist for the ghost to appear, to supplement reality as a site of return of the revenant. In postwar countries, fiction is too serious a matter to be left to “imaginative” people.
–Jalal Toufic, Ruins, 2010.
Walid Raad was born in Chbanieh, Lebanon and works in New York where he is Professor of Art in The Cooper Union. Solo exhibitions include the Louvre, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthalle Zurich; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. His works have been shown in Documenta, Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Sao Paulo Bienale, Istanbul Biennial, and Homeworks. He is a member of the Home Workspace Program in Beirut and The Gulf Labor Coalition.
Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. His books, a number of which were published by Forthcoming Books, are available for download at his website. And his videos are available for viewing at: vimeo.com/jalaltoufic. He, along with artists and pretend artists, was a participant in the Sharjah Biennials 6, 10 and 11, the 9th Shanghai Biennale, the 3rd Athens Biennale, and “A History: Art, Architecture, and Design, from the 1980s Until Today” (Centre Pompidou). In 2011, he was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD; and in 2013–14, he and Anton Vidokle led Ashkal Alwan’s third edition of Home Workspace Program, based in Beirut. He has been the director of the School of Visual Arts at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (Alba) since September 2015.
Co-presented by SFU School for the Contemporary Arts' Audain Visual Artist in Residence Program and SFU Galleries, with the Vancouver Art Gallery and Western Front.
The Audain Visual Artist in Residence program brings artists and practitioners to Vancouver who have contributed significantly to the field of contemporary art and whose work resonates with local and international visual art discourses. The visiting artists interact with the students and faculty of the School for the Contemporary Arts as well as the broader visual arts and cultural communities and the community-at-large. In keeping with the experimental nature of the School for the Contemporary Arts the terms of engagement are open and change from artist to artist. The cornerstone of the residency is the sharing of artistic research. The Audain Foundation Endowment Fund generously funds the program.