Artist Michael Rakowitz on counter-histories and drawing inspiration from fragments [Video]

Internationally acclaimed artist and Art, Theory, and Practice faculty member Michael Rakowitz explores culture as it is embodied in artifacts. In projects ranging from a recreation of the Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon to selling dates in an NYC storefront, he has used both food and material fragments to recreate and reimagine cultural and personal histories, particularly related to his Iraqi-Jewish cultural heritage.

On February 13th, 2019 the Block Museum welcomed Rakowitz for an artist talk. Drawing upon the exhibition Caravans of Gold, Rakowitz considered questions of cultural loss and removal as well as counter-histories and narratives in artistic practice. He was joined in conversation by Kiersten Neumann, Curator at the Oriental Institute and Ann Gunter, Bertha and Max Dressler Professor in the Humanities, whose work addresses the visual and material culture of the ancient Near East and its Eastern Mediterranean neighbors.

Presented by The Block Museum in partnership with the Departments of Art History and Art, Theory, and Practice, and the Oriental Institute.

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About Michael Rackowitz

A professor of art theory and practice at Northwestern University, Rakowitz has appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and Tate Modern, and was chosen as the artist for the 2018 edition of London’s Fourth Plinthpublic art project. He shows his work at Chicago’s Rhona Hoffman Gallery and at Jane Lombard Gallery in New York. His most ambitious project, “The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist”, is an ongoing attempt to reconstruct all 7,000 artifacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, using Middle Eastern newspapers and food packaging.

Images from the Evening


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