Walid Raad: Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut)
Walid Raad is a Lebanon-born and New York-based artist whose work investigates the ways that history is remembered and represented. He makes use of archives and photographs in the public realm and questions aspects of veracity and meaning in the context of ongoing wars in the Middle East. Raad is well-known for The Atlas Group (1989-2004), a fifteen-year project which borrows from the genres of literary fiction and conceptual photography and concentrates on the protracted Lebanese wars of the past few decades.
He will present large photographs from Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut), consisting of streetscapes of the city found in a book, annotated with hand-written inscriptions in English and Arabic. The black-and-white images are brought to life by the texts, which include statements like, “In 1976 or 1977, and around the corner from this building, a militiaman teaches me how to fire a rifle, launch a grenade, and graffiti anti-Palestinian slogans. I remember him laughing the whole time.”
Raad has had one-person exhibitions at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Centre Pompidou, among others.
In association with the exhibition, Raad will discuss his work as one of the 2024 speakers in the Robert C. May Photography Lecture Series.
Walid Raad, Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut) _ Streetscapes, 1991-95. Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.