The Atlas Group/Walid Raad. ​I might die before I get a rifle_Device III. 1993/2002. Pigmented inkjet print, 63″ × 6′11″ (160 × 210.8 cm). Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. © 2015 Walid Raad

MoMA presents the first comprehensive American survey of the leading contemporary artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon), featuring his work in photography, video, sculpture, and performance from the last 25 years. Dedicated to exploring the veracity of photographic and video documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world, Raad’s work is informed by his upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war (1975–91), and by the socioeconomic and military policies that have shaped the Middle East in the past few decades.

The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s long-term projects: The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–ongoing). Under the rubric of The Atlas Group, a 15-year project exploring the contemporary history of Lebanon, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon and elsewhere. Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of new infrastructure for the visual arts—art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of performance, narrative, and storytelling in Raad’s oeuvre. The artist will also present his lecture-performance Walkthrough in MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium multiple times a week throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Related classes: Walid Raad: Politics, Narrative, and Performance and Truth or Dare: Walid Raad’s Art and Storytelling as Performance

Organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with Katerina Stathopoulou, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography.

The exhibition is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Major support is provided by Oya Eczacıbaşı; A. Huda and Samia Farouki; and by Elham and Tony Salamé, Aïshti Foundation Beirut.

With generous funding from Basil and Raghida Rahim; Plurimi Foundation, Maya and Ramzy Rasamny; Rana Sadik and Samer Younis; and an anonymous donor.

Research and travel support was provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Education programs for this exhibition are made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.

MoMA Audio+ is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Past events

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