081208: Heidelberger Kunstverein: I Might Die Before I Get a Rifle – A Project by Walid Raad

Heidelberger Kunstverein: I Might Die Before I Get a Rifle – A Project by Walid Raad Fiction in mined territory Or the difficulty to restore trust in time and space in Beirut. Walid Raad became well known with his construction “The Atlas Group” and its archive on the Lebanese Civil War (1975 – 1990/91). The Heidelberger Kunstverein is currently showing his new project dealing with contemporary Arab art. The works were already exhibited 1989 in Alexandria, Egypt and were created by five Lebanese artists, who dealt with the after-effects of war. It was, however, rather surprising that none of the five artists or the curator, Marwan Baroudi, attended the opening of the exhibit. So what could be behind the show with the awkward title “I might die before I get a rifle”? Taking a closer look at the biography of the curator clarifies the situation: Baroudi and the artists are fictitious people – they were, just like the photo series and their texts, created by Raad. Raad’s photo series show bullet cases set up in a line, which Raad collected in his childhood, and scenes shot during the Israeli attack against Beirut in 1982. He captures the traces of war in distance-constituting aesthetic way, letting one only surmise the horrors that had happened. Throughout the exhibit the fictitious character remains hidden – everything seems trustworthy to the visitor: five artists focus on the Civil War, the Lebanese history. And Walid Raad examines the still young phenomenon of contemporary art in the Middle East. But that is perfectly alright - the exhibition fulfils its function on this level as well. Heidelberger Kunstverein 69117 Heidelberg, Hauptstr. 97, until 01.02.09 www.hdkv.de

Heidelberger Kunstverein
69117 Heidelberg, Hauptstrasse 97
Tel: +49 6221 18 40 86, Fax: +49 6221 16 41 62
Email: hdkv@hdkv.de
Öffnungszeiten: Di - Fr 12:00 - 19:00, Sa - So 11:00 - 19:00

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