Walid Raad is an ______ and an ______ (______, ______).
Raad’s works to date include ______, ______, ______ , ______, and ______.
Raad’s recent works include______, and ______.
Raad’s works have been shown at ______ (______, ______), The ______ Biennale (______, ______), The ______ (______, ______), The Museum ______ (______, ______), ______ (______, _______) and numerous other museums and venues in ______, ______, and ______. His books include ______, ______, ______, and ______.
Walid Raad is also a member of ______ (______ , www.______.org).
Raad currently lives and works in ______ (______, ______).
In part, an artist and a Professor of Art in (the still-charging-tuition The Cooper Union, and the school should stop doing so now before yet more debt burdens more students who are not the ones who mismanaged the school’s finances –
its Board of Trustees and administrators did for decades [check out the lawsuit against the Board] The Cooper Union. The list of exhibitions (good, bad and mediocre ones); awards and grants (merited, not merited, grateful for, rejected and/or returned); education (some of it thought-provoking; some of it, less so); publications (I am fond of some of my books, but more so of the books of Jalal Toufic. You can find his here: jalaltoufic.com), can be found on this site or somewhere online.
a.k.a Dahlia Egad
Born, 1969, in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Currently spends most of her time in Ascona, Switzerland.
Defying classification, Dahlia Egad’s fierce individualism informed her enigmatic and highly acclaimed body of work. Her astonishing diverse works of the past 25 years are amongst the most compelling images of late twentieth and early twenty first century art.
Her first stage, her theopathic period, was between 1982 and 1991. This was the time she spent traveling between Andalusia and Persia, experimenting with forms, techniques, and materials. The second period of her career reflected the influence of Lucia Fa Jolt, the Persian philosopher of the Imaginal. It was during this period that she witnessed the great religious festivals that have been celebrated since the ancient periods. She began to associate the intuitive aspect of art with the essential element in the popular magical art of the hidden and the unknown.
In 1994, Dahlia Egad began constructing her multi-layered, complex wall-relief sculptures. These three-dimensional constructs use a pioneering technique of stretching fragments of recycled organic forms of great depth. This technique created unusual depth, forming what she refers to as “the mysterious passions.” The technical handling of her chosen materials stemmed from her early career as a molecular editor. Both her parents were skilled technicians - her mother working in a World War II submarine factory wiring transmitters and her father having invented the first chemical database.
a.k.a Suha Traboulsi
Was born in Birzeit (Palestine) in 1943. She moved to Beirut in 1949 and currently lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (USA). She studied art at the Beirut College for Women and at the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1962-65, and also at City College of New York from 1967-69. After that she took up philosophy at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After a sojourn at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) from 1972-76, she completed her doctorate in 1978.
After beginnings in painting and following her encounter with the conceptual works and writings of Farid Sarroukh, Traboulsi began to turn her attention to language. She looked into aspects of time and space in an extensive series of works involving texts and numerical combinations on paper. She combined these conceptual investigations in her Antithesis series (1968-70). Traboulsi’s first solo exhibition was the mail art project Two Untitled Projects (1969), which was published in the magazine 0 to 9 (edited by Vito Acconci). She was the only Palestinian woman artist to participate in important exhibitions such as Concept Art (1969) in Leverkusen (Germany), or Information (1970) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. By this time she had decided to pursue an academic study of philosophy, as she did not feel content with a lay person’s approach to philosophical doctrines.
Traboulsi first gained national attention in the Arab world in the 1970s as an influential and often controversial figure in the Amman, Cairo and Beirut art, performance and conceptual art movements. Once ironically termed the “witch of contemporary art,” Traboulsi achieved notoriety with her sensationalist performance work, in which she investigated the psychological experience of personal danger and physical risk.
A few years ago, I was asked by the artist, writer, professor, Gregory Bouchakgian the following questions:
Where did you grow up? Neighborhood? Village? Individual house or apartment building?
Did you go to school by car? School bus? Walking?
Did you have to cross through checkpoints or dangerous areas on your way?
How was it at school? Were you brave? Were you popular among classmates? Did you keep your schoolbooks?
Where you afraid of Shelling? Car bombs? Kidnapping?
Do you consider yourself as a traumatized?
What happened with your collection of bullets and shrapnel?
Did you parents bring you at the racetrack?
Do you have a particular memory of going at the doctor’s? (Personally, passing in front of AUBMC was much more traumatizing than Murr Tower or Holiday Inn)
Did you prefer going to the beach or to the mountains?
Did you like fast food? Rock n’Roll? Star Wars?
Do you have memories of travel through Beirut International Airport? Cyprus? Damascus?
Were you nostalgic of Lebanon when you left?
In America, were you Lebanese or American or a migrant?
How did you decide to become an artist? Have you ever faced a “choc artistique”?
How did you encounter the people who became the post-war artists and thinkers?
Jayce Salloum? Jalal Toufic?
What about this so unusual figure, Lucien Samaha, you interviewed for Ibraaz?
Did you know Ashkal Alwan when it started in Sanayeh and Sioufi gardens as sculpture exhibitions?
How did you perceive your relation with this group, being often published and exhibited with them, living in the US while most were in Beirut?
Was the fact of being based outside the theater of operations was beneficial for your work?
In the meantime, if we had to put things back ton trail, we have a series of dates:
1967: Your birth
1975: Start of the Lebanese war (you are 8 years old).
1983: Your departure from Lebanon (you are 16) and settlement in the US.
1999: Your participation at “Building City and Nation: Space, History, Memory and Identity”, organized par Samir Khalaf at AUB and Order of engineers and architects of Lebanon, 1-3 July 1999.
2008: A History of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art: Part I_Chapter 1: Beirut (1992-2005), at Sfeir Semler Gallery, Beirut July 17, 2008 - November 7, 2008.
To which I answered:
I suppose that I can begin by adding a few more personal dates, and to contest others:
1915: The locust attacks in Syria and Palestine kills hundreds of thousands. My paternal grandparents lived these events in Chbanieh, and remembered them well.
November 2, 1917: The Balfour declaration is released.
1928 or 1929, and on June 15: My father’s supposed birth date (All dates are pre-independence Lebanon, and all are uncertain dates since his parents (and whoever was in charge in the mountains during the Mandate period) did not accurately record the mountain’s inhabitants’ birth dates.) He was born at home, sometime in the middle of June, in the late 20s. Years later, when he is issued his first identity card, someone wrote down June 15 as his birth date.
June 15, 1967: My birth certificate birth date. My mother wanted my birth date to coincide with the (uncertain) birth date of my father’s.
1940 or so: My grandparents take my father out of school. He attended school for only three years and was put to work. The memory of the 1915 locust attack had traumatized the mountain’s inhabitants. They feared a similar fate with the beginning of WWII. Thus all hands were on deck. My 10 year-old father is put to work. Years later, this will affect our family in direct and indirect ways.
June 6, 1967: I am born 9 days later, in the midst of the defeat of Arab forces.
1969: Princeton University Press publishes Henri Corbin’s Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi. I am introduced to Corbin and Ibn Arabi via the books of Jalal Toufic. I will teach a seminar with Jalal Toufic in Berlin, in Anton Vidokle’s United Nations Plaza in 2006.
1947-48: The first Arab Israeli war. My Palestinian maternal grand parents flee Birzeit and settle in Beirut. My mother is a toddler. She grows up in Lebanon.
Sometime in the 1950s: My father is a laborer in Saudi Arabia.
Sometime in the coming 10 years: My first trip to Saudi Arabia.
1939: Walter Benjamin writes “On some motifs in Baudelaire.” 50 years later, in Beirut, I will read it along with Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, Bergson’s Matter and Memory, Freud’s The Interpretation of dreams, Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal,
1991 and 1993: Stattion Hill Press publishes the first editions of Jalal Toufic’s Distracted, and his (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film. I meet Jalal in Beirut in 1992 during my year-long stay there working with Jayce Salloum. I try to read his books in the early 1990s. Throughout the 1990’s I return to Jalal’s books and cannot enter them until I read a passage in his essays On Ruins. I am convinced that he is describing an experience I related to him, except that I had not, and he had written the passage in question years before I met him. I commit myself to reading Jalal more seriously. Until I cannot find my own thoughts anymore without going through his.
1905: Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality is published. 80 years later, Lapanche and Pontalis’s Life and Death in Psychoanalysis is published. I read both books in the early the late 80’s or early 90s, in Kaja Silverman’s seminars at the University of Rochester.
Sometime in the 1960s: My father goes to work in Monrovia and Sierra Leone. He works there throughout the 1960s and settles back in Lebanon the early 1970s, most likely in 1973.
1975: Start of the civil war? Or do we set equally contested and loaded dates for the beginnings of the war (restricting this to the 20th century): 1910, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1943, 1947, 1967, 1973, 1974?
1975: My first photography class. I can still smell the chemicals from the first darkroom I ever entered.
1977: My first camera: A 35mm Minolta XG-1.
1981: I read a photo-essay about AIDS in America in French Photo
1856: William Perkin synthesizes Mauve.
1913: Fritz Haber’s synthesis of Nitrogen is manufactured industrially by Carl Bosch at BASF.
April 1915: Fritz Haber supervises the use of gas in western Flanders. His additional invention will include Zyklon A, precursor to Zyklon B, that will kill millions of Jews and others in Europe during WWII, even Haber’s own family members.
1978: I remember wanting to become a photo journalist. I remember walking around and photographing in Achrafieh after the Syrian’s Army brutal bombardment of the Easter quarters of Beirut.
1983: Hard for me to separate 1983 from the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and its subsequent effects on Lebanon in general and my life in particular.
June 1982: I remember photographing the barbaric Israeli bombardment of West Beirut. I remember photographing it from a parking lot in front of my mother’s house in East Beirut.
Early 1982-1983 and thereafter: A form of mandatory military service is put in effect in the Eastern quarters of Beirut. Many high school boys are forced to serve in the Lebanese Forces, the Christian right wing militia that controlled where I lived.
1983: War of the mountains. Boys and men from the Metn and Chouf areas are asked to contribute to the Lebanese Forces’ (allies of Israel) war efforts to liberate the land from Syrian forces and their Lebanese allies. Various family members volunteer or are forced to enlist. It is only a matter of time before I am forcibly enlisted. I decide to leave Lebanon. I can leave Lebanon because my family had the means to send me abroad and I had a visa to the US. Why was I granted a visa to go to the USA in 1982? That’s a matter for another time.
I could keep going but I feel that I need to stop and give you a chance to ask a question or make a comment. Or you can ask me the same question again, and I can actually try to answer it this time. Or give the same answers again.