As the new season gets underway, Selections reflects on the late-running summer shows and previews some upcoming autumn exhibitions that are not to be missed
Walid Raad: Better Be Watching the Clouds
August 31 to December 30
Walid Raad is among Lebanon’s most famous artists, at home and overseas. In the wake of a successful retrospective at MoMA in New York, he returns for a solo show in his home city, an occasion not to be missed. Raad will exhibit work from two major long-term projects, The Atlas Group (1989 to 2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow, an ongoing project started in 2007. He will also be presenting a new collaborative work with Lebanese architect Bernard Khoury, entitled A Proposal for a Beirut Site Museum: Preface (2016-2016).
Born in Lebanon in 1967 and based in New York, Raad lived through the Lebanese Civil War. His work spans photography, video, sculpture and performance and is dedicated to exploring memory and narrative in times of conflict, the veracity of documentation, such as photos and videos, and its role in addressing violence, and the construction of histories in the Arab world.
For The Atlas Group — a fictional collective — Raad created fictionalised photographs, videotapes and notebooks that relate to real events and documentation from Lebanon’s war years, highlighting the way history is constructed and sometimes manipulated. Scratching on things I could disavow focuses on the wider regional and the emergence of an infrastructure for contemporary art — including biennials, art fairs and museums — and its links to economics and conflict.
A version of this article appeared in print in Selections,A Dialogue Between Generations of Arab Women in Art #42, pages 25.