The Atlas Group/Walid Raad. ​I might die before I get a rifle_Device III. 1993/2002. Pigmented inkjet print, 63″ × 6′11″ (160 × 210.8 cm). Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. © 2015 Walid Raad.

Walid Raad

We are very pleased to welcome Walid Raad as the 2016 Audain Visual Artist in Residence (AVAIR).

During his time in Vancouver Raad will pursue research toward a new project by meeting with local specialists with knowledge on a heterogeneous range of topics, including human sweat, near-death experiences, meteorological measuring devices and Islamic art museums. In addition to a talk and public seminar (see below), Raad will do class and studio visits with graduate and undergraduate students. A solo exhibition of new work by Raad will be held at the Audain Gallery in 2017.

Over the last 25 years artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon) has produced an extraordinary body of work that examines the instability of documents and archives in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative in conflict discourses, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world. Raad works in photography, video, sculpture and performance to engage with forms of storytelling.

In his talk as part of his AVAIR residency at SFU, Raad will concentrate on two of his long-term art projects. The first is The Atlas Group (1989-2004), which examines the contemporary history of Lebanon, and the second is Scratching on things I could disavow (2007-present), which looks at the Arab art world alongside that region’s conflicts. Both projects engage how forms of violence affect bodies, minds and culture.

Raad’s solo exhibitions include the Louvre (Paris), The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Kunsthalle Zurich, The Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Kunsten Festival des Arts (Brussels), and The Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin).  His works have been shown in Documenta 11 and 13 (Kassel), The Venice Biennale, Whitney Bienniale 2000 and 2002 (New York), Sao Paulo Bienale, Istanbul Biennal, Homeworks I and III (Beirut) and in numerous other museums, biennials and venues in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. 

His books include Walkthrough, The Truth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is Dead, My Neck Is Thinner Than A Hair, Let’s Be Honest The Weather Helped, and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow. Raad is also the recipient of the ICP Infinity Award (2016), the Hasselblad Award (2011), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2007), the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2007), the Camera Austria Award (2005), a Rockefeller Fellowship (2003), among other grants, prizes and awards. He is a member of the Home Workspace Program in Beirut and The Gulf Labor Coalition. Raad lives and works in New York where is Professor of Art in The Cooper Union.

This talk is co-produced with SFU Galleries.

In this seminar Walid Raad will lead a discussion about his resent research. This will be an opportunity to witness the artist’s process and encounter his ideas taking shape first hand. This generous approach reminds us that there is no formula for producing an artwork: an artist’s process may proceed without regard for established divisions between categories of thought, action, matter or discipline to stage encounters between research, politics and aesthetics. Raad pursues several parallel, sometimes intersecting paths. Where these paths “lead”—if in fact this teleology applies—is not always clear, even to him. His research spans inquiry into the building of the Louvre and the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, labour issues, human sweat, WW1’s effects in shaping the modern Middle East, death, near death, forensic science, medical examiners, coffins, biological decay, Islamic Arts, carpets, dyes, wool, exports, designs and colour. The seminar invites participants into conversation with Raad along these paths of inquiry.


Walid Raad: TALK

Thurs., Sept. 29, 7PM
Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
SFU at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings St., Vancouver

Walid Raad: SEMINAR

Mon., Oct 3, 2016, 6PM
Room 4390
SFU at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings St., Vancouver