TABLE OF CONTENTS

OBJECT TO BE RESTORED: THE ART OF MICHAEL RAKOWITZ

Michael Rakowitz, May the Arrogant Not Prevail (detail), 2010, found Arabic packaging and newspapers, glue, cardboard, wood, 19' 7 3/4“ x 16' 2 7/8” x 3' 1 3/8".

Babylon’s ancient Ishtar Gate is reconstructed with contemporary product wrappers; books carved from Afghan stone memorialize a German library destroyed in World War II; Saddam Hussein’s dinnerware turns up at a Park Avenue restaurant. In MICHAEL RAKOWITZ’s projects, cultural fragments are subject to a logic of transformation, replication, and circulation that allows them to telescope across regions and temporalities. If geopolitical conflicts are too often understood in abstract terms—as a “clash of civilizations”—Rakowitz traffics in the particular and the polysemic, prompting social exchange, linking disparate narratives, and opening up the historical enfilade that connects the United States’ recent military adventures to imperialism’s longue durée. In the process, critic and curator DIETER ROELSTRAETE suggests here, Rakowitz exposes the fundamental mutability of

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.