Who is Michael Rakowitz?


Artist Michael Rakowitz will be speaking at Williams College on Thursday, October 28 at 7:30 pm.

So what are the important things to know about Michael Rakowitz?

He is an American artist of Iraqi descent. Although many of his recent art projects have been defined by his interest in the relationship between Iraq and the West, his work also focuses on social issues in the U.S., and many of these projects have been located in public spaces rather than in traditional gallery spaces.

One of Rakowitz’s more recent artworks, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (2007), tells the story of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, which was looted after the U.S. invasion in 2003. In weaving his narrative, Rakowitz plans to recreate 7,000 missing objects, including friezes, ceramics, and votive statues, with materials the artist found in various Middle Eastern neighborhoods in the U.S. such as Arab newspapers and food packaging. Rakowitz uses standard museum practices in the identification of each art object, which includes labels stating each object’s museum number and provenance. However, instead of textual information about the object, Rakowitz includes quoted reactions to the looting from Iraqi archeologists, American military commanders, and others.

Join us on Thursday to hear from this artist! Visit his website, www.michaelrakowitz.com, to read more about his recent art projects.

Above images: Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, 2007. Courtesy the Artist and Lombard Freid Projects.

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