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Rakowitz's recent projects include: ‘Dar Al Sulh’ (Domain of Conciliation) , a unique supper club hosted by The Mosaic Rooms, London, and his upcoming commission for The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square; ‘The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist’, a work that uses tin cans to recreate an ancient monument destroyed by ISIS.
Drawing on his experiences as a Jewish Iraqi-American, Rakowitz will discuss resilience in the face of threats to culture, the impact of the destruction of Middle Eastern heritage and also explore how the notion of identity has informed and affected his work.
‘The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist’, which will sit atop The Fourth Plinth from 2018, uses tin cans to recreate a model of the Lamassu, a winged bull that stood at the gates of the ancient city of Nineveh from 700 BC, after it was destroyed in the Mosul Museum in Iraq by IS.
The ‘Dar Al Sulh’ (or Domain of Conciliation) supper club project aims to create and reclaim a space for shared celebration of Arab Jewish culture. The title is taken from a territory where an agreement between Muslims and non-Muslims has been made and provides freedom of religion, autonomy, and protection. It is this agreement that applied to Jews in Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Rakowitz lives and works in Chicago and is best known for his conceptual art displayed in non-gallery contexts. He is a professor at Northwestern University and has had exhibitions at Tate Modern, Documenta 13, the Istanbul Bienniale (2007 and 2013) and the Sharjah Biennial (2007) where his work received the Jury Award. Upcoming activities will also include a project at MoMA and a survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago titled ‘Backstroke of the West’, curated by Omar Kholeif.
This event is part of the V&A’s Culture in Crisis Series, and programmed in conjunction with The Mosaic Rooms, London.