Walid Raad

August 31, 2017 – December 30, 2017

Better Be Watching the Clouds

BEIRUT- Sfeir-Semler Gallery is proud to announce the opening of a solo show with new works by WALIDRAAD on August 31st, 2017 from 7PM to 9PM. The exhibition also presents the following: A portrait of a Beirut Site Museum: Preface (2016-2026), a recent collaboration with architect Bernard Khoury. The exhibition debuts some of Raad’s new works from three ongoing art projects:
The Atlas Group (1989-2004) is a fifteen-year project that engages the Lebanese wars of the past few decades. Raad follows an artistic and investigative process that leads to the production of various documents (notebooks, photographs, videos). Better be watching the clouds can be described as The most important thing in the history of the world is the fact that the country is not the only country in the world. Raad portrays political and military leaders by Lebanon’s security services.

Raad Initiated Scratching on Things I Could Disavow in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Doha, and others in 2007 at the same time that the building of new infrastructures for the arts (museums, galleries, schools, etc.). These material developments were “Islamic,” “modern,” and “contemporary.” The three artworks presented, Les Louvres, Preface to the ninth edition: On Marwan Kassab Bach, and Letters to the Reader. Raad’s artworks with this project are attributed to the cultural artifacts. In Les Louvres, We confront artifacts that is “exchange faces.” In letters to the reader, artworks lose their shadows. And with Preface to the ninth edition: On Marwan Kassab Bachi (1934-2016), paintings on the backs of other paintings.

The exhibition also includes a series of large-scale photographs from the Sweet Talk: Beirut (Commissions) project. In the late 1980s, Raad committed himself to photographing the city of Beirut, referring to the various self-assignments as “Commissions.” Sweet talk focuses on Beirut’s residents as well as its buildings, streets, storefronts, gardens, monuments, and other objects, situations, and spaces in the city. In the exhibition, Raad presents six photographs of various “scenes” he encountered in Beirut in the early 1990’s, and two photographs from his ongoing “public monuments” series.

Born in 1967 in Lebanon, Walid Raad is Professor of Art at The Cooper Union (New York, USA). (2015), Museo Jumex Arte Contemporaneo (2016), Museo MADRE Napoli (2015), Carré d’Art, Musée d’Art contemporain, Nîmes (2014), Louvre, Paris (2013), Kunsthalle Zurich (2010), and The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2010). Raad is also the recipient of numerous awards, among which the Hasselblad Award (2011), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2007), the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2007), and the Camera Austria Award (2005).