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Walid Raad, Footnote II, 2015, wallpaper, ink-jet prints, cast-urethane resin, paint. Installation view. Photo: Thomas Griesel.

Walid Raad

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

Walid Raad, Footnote II, 2015, wallpaper, ink-jet prints, cast-urethane resin, paint. Installation view. Photo: Thomas Griesel.

WALID RAAD’S PROJECT Scratching on things I could disavow, 2007–, puts the artist’s docufictional sensibility into the service of a distinctive brand of institutional critique. As he puts it, with telling scare quotes, in the artist’s statement accompanying his current retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, Scratching investigates “the history of art in the ‘Arab world’” and the recent proliferation of “new cultural foundations, art galleries, art schools, art magazines, art prizes, art fairs, and large Western-brand and local museums” across the region. “These material developments,” he continues, “were matched by equally fraught efforts to define, sort, and stitch ‘Arab art’ along three loosely silhouetted nodes: ‘Islamic,’ ‘modern,’ and ‘contemporary.’”

Raad’s project resonates strongly with—and feeds off of—the challenges and opportunities that confront everyone

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