Michael Stevenson is pleased to present an installation by Walid Raad as part of the FOREX series.
Raad was born in Lebanon in 1967. He completed a PhD at the University of Rochester in 1996 and is now an Associate Professor of Art at The Cooper Union in New York. His work includes mixed-media installations, performance, lectures, video, photography and literary essays. His best-known work is The Atlas Group. This was a 15-year project between 1989 and 2004 focusing on the contemporary history of Lebanon with a particular emphasis on the Lebanese wars of 1975-1991. The Atlas Group locates, preserves, studies and produces audio, visual, literary and other documents that shed light on this history. The documents are preserved in The Atlas Group Archive which is located in Beirut and New York.
The installation to be exhibited is We Decided to Let Them Say 'We Are Convinced' Twice. It Was More Convincing This Way, first shown in 2007. It comprises a series of 17 prints with two photographic images on each sheet. Raad eloquently describes how he decided to exhibit these images which date back to 1982:
In the summer of 1982, I stood along with others in a parking lot across from my mother's apartment in East Beirut, and watched the Israeli land, air, and sea assault on West Beirut. The PLO along with their Lebanese and Syrian allies retaliated, as best they could. East Beirut welcomed the invasion, or so it seemed, and that much is certain. West Beirut resisted it, or so it seemed, and that much is certain. One day, my mother even accompanied me to the hills around Beirut to photograph the invading Israeli army stationed there. Soldiers rested their bodies and their weapons as they waited for their next orders to attack, retreat or stay put. I was 15 in 1982, and wanted to get as close as possible to the events, or as close as my newly acquired camera and lens permitted me that summer. This past year, I came upon my carefully preserved negatives from that time. I decided to look again.
Raad's work has been widely exhibited and the subject of numerous solo shows, most recently at Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington; National Galerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; and the Museum for Contemporary Art, Montreal. He has published numerous books on his work and the Atlas Project, including The Truth Will be Known When the Last Witness is Dead; My Neck is Thinner than a Hair; Scratching on Things I Could Disavow; and Let's be Honest, the Weather Helped.
For more information about the FOREX project series, click here.
The exhibition opens on Thursday 11 March, 6-8pm. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 1pm.
Works courtesy of Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg/Beirut.
© 2010 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.