The Louvre has invited the artist Walid Raad to take part in a collaborative project over three consecutive years. The first part of this project is an exhibition called “Preface to the First Edition”, with an accompanying publication.
Walid Raad, born in 1967 in Chbanieh (Lebanon), lives and works in New York. He uses a broad spectrum of formats and techniques including text, photography, video, publication, installation and performance. Since the late 80s, his work has reflected a distinctive modus operandi; his Atlas Group project, for example, is a collection of archives on the Lebanese wars in fictional form. History is recorded for posterity as a series of open-ended enigmas onto which spectators can project their own references.
Another project, Scratching on Things I Could Disavow. A History of Art in the Arab World, begun in 2007, takes a critical look at the increasing enthusiasm for heritage and contemporary art in the Middle East. Attentive to the way geopolitical conflicts and changes impact the relationship with history, the artist explores the current perception of tradition. And with a purpose-designed installation at the Louvre, he presents a visual and narrative reflection on the future of the “universal museum”, a concept developed in the West in the late 18th century. Shadows, reflections, interstices and optical mystery highlight the poetic nature of his work.
Musée du Louvre Website