Walid Raad/The Atlas Group

Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT)

We Can Make Rain But No One Came to Ask, 2005, a fifteen-minute-long DVD, is fully situated within documentary’s framework of truthfulness, the subtle and often humorous deconstruction of which is the by now well-known art of Walid Raad. Preceding the video is wall text, laden with signs of authority, explaining the piece’s provenance as a “possible collaboration” between Yussef Bitar, “the Lebanese state’s leading ammunitions expert and chief investigator of all car bomb detonations,” and Georges Semerdjian, “a respected and fearless photojournalist and videographer who, until his violent death in 1990, tirelessly chronicled the Lebanese wars of the past three decades.” The result, projected in an unusual panoramic expanse some thirteen feet wide and three feet high, is a fragmented recording of diagrams, notes, photographs, and video clips that concerns, we are told, an explosion in

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