Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973) makes work that explores recent contested social, political, and cultural histories. Drawing on personal experiences, historical research, and popular culture, Rakowitz creates objects, installations, and performances that invite viewers to contemplate their complicit relationship to the political world around them.
For this program, exhibition curator Omar Kholeif will speak with Michael about works such as Enemy Kitchen (2003–ongoing), a food truck that serves Iraqi dishes made from recipes that Rakowitz and his mother collected; The invisible enemy should not exist (2007–ongoing), a lifelong project to fabricate every item looted from the Iraqi National Museum; and What Dust Will Rise? (2012), for which he worked with stone carvers to re-create items from the State Library of Hesse-Kassel that were lost in the 1941 fire of the Fridericianum, using stone quarried from the ruins of sixth-century sandstone Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.