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Walid Raad is a contemporary media artist originally from Lebanon and now mostly based in New York. He formed The Atlas Group, an imaginary art collective whose work is exclusively produced by Raad. His works include video, photography, literary essays and these architectural wall reliefs, of which I spotted the top one at the Frieze Fair here in NYC last week.
These sculptural wall hangings have an exaggerated perspective and all seem to be inviting one in through their portals. Concerned with the contemporary history of Lebanon, particularly the wars between 1975 and 1991, Raad’s works are often representation of traumatic events. His work examines the social, political, psychological and aesthetic ramifications of the various wars that have been waged in Lebanon.
In his series of wall reliefs—an ongoing project in part titled Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World—Raad literally sets the stage for his upcoming play about art institutions in the Middle East, depicting what the architectural interior of the museum’s gallery spaces would be.
Walid Raad is an associate professor at the Cooper Union School of Art.