New York

Michael Rakowitz

Lombard-Fried Projects

Michael Rakowitz is a Duchampian activist and an artist of détournement. In simple but dizzying interventions, he seduces viewers into contemplating global networks, while making space for reverie, rage, and humor. His readymades are often tangible things. But he also reframes received ideas and mistranslations. The work takes longer to explain than it does to absorb in the flesh. Nevertheless, while it does not stint on handmade visual richness, Rakowitz’s art is fundamentally discursive. His recent exhibition, which centered on replicas of vanished Iraqi antiquities and was titled “The invisible enemy should not exist,” communicated nuggets of information that included the following: (A) When the National Museum was looted in 2003, some seven thousand objects dating as far back as 4000 BC were stolen. Thousands (about half of the total number) have been located, but Baghdad is so unstable

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