Preface to the first English edition presents several works by Walid Raad conceived around the opening of the Louvre’s new Islamic Art spaces. The work is part of the ongoing project Scratching on things I could disavow, and proceeds from the recent emergence of new infrastructures for Arab, Islamic and Middle Eastern arts in the Arab world.
Of the nearly 18,000 objects held in the Louvre’s newly established department des Arts de l’Islam, 294 will be loaned to the Louvre Abu Dhabi sometime between 2016 and 2046. Of the 294 objects, some will be affected by the journey in ways that historians, curators and conservators could not have anticipated nor predicted.
Walid Raad was born in Chbanieh, Lebanon, in 1967. His work has been widely exhibited in important international exhibitions. In 2013 he was commissioned by the Musée du Louvre to develop an interchange with the collections of the new Islamic Art galleries. In 2012 he was featured in Documenta 13, Kassel and in 2010/11 was the subject of a major exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery which toured to Umea in Sweden and the Kunsthalle Zurich. He has also had solo shows at the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2009) RedCat, Los Angeles (2009) The Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2006) the Kitchen New York (2006), Homeworks, Beirut (2005), Venice Biennale (2003), Whitney Biennial (2000 and 2002) and Documenta 11 (2002). Raad is a recipient of the Alpert Award, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Deutsche Boerse Photography Award and the Hasselblad Award. Later this year he will have exhibitions at the Carré d’Art, Nimes and Madre, Naples. His work will be the subject of a major survey exhibition at MoMA New York in 2015.