Walid Raad is a Lebanese artist who makes videos, installations, photographs and sculptures, and whose work frequently has a performance component. From 1989-2004, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and involved authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon, under the rubric of The Atlas Group, an imaginary collective. 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 a new infrastructure for the visual arts—art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region. He is also part of the Gulf Labor Artist Coalition, an international group working to ensure that migrant worker rights are protected during the construction of museums on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.
Kaja Silverman is the Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of many books, including—most recently—The Miracle of Analogy, or: The History of Photography, Part I.