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Walid Ra’ad (The Atlas Group)
b 1967 in Chbanieh, Libanon (RL)
Walid Ra’ad holds a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester and is Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Queens College of the University of New York. Raad's works include textual analysis, video, performance and photography projects, and concentrate on the Lebanese civil wars and documentary film, video, photography theory and practice. His activities include also «The Atlas Group», a non-profit research foundation in Beirut, which he leads and which documents the contemporary history of Lebanon.
Lives and works in New York.
«Walid Ra‘ad founded the Atlas Group, an imaginary foundation whose objective is to research and document Lebanon‘s contemporary history. Ra’ad presents the Atlas Group primarily through lectures that include films, photography exhibitions, videos, and a variety of documents from the group‘s archives. More recently, certain sections of the archive have been the object of a number of installations in museum spaces. The Atlas Group‘s archives include a variety of different materials, among them notebooks belonging to the Lebanese historian Fadl Fakhouri, videos of the former hostage Souheil Bachar and of Zainab Hilwé, the victim of a car bombing, as well as a number of anonymous documents that include, for example, a series of photos entitled ‹Secrets in the Open Sea.› [...] The aim is to compose an archive of a fictional nature that both criticizes the feigned objectivity of historical discourse and dismantles the supposed autonomy of artistic work.»
(source: documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH (ed.), Documenta11_Plattform5: Exhibition. Short guide, exhib. cat., Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern Ruit, 2002, p. 26.)