Lebanese-born and New York- based artist Walid Raad’s waterfall installation, at Paula Cooper Gallery, is a perfect example of why I love seeking art.
I had seen images of Raad’s work before going to the exhibition, We have never been so populated, but seeing the installation in person was better than I expected. Visiting my son in Ithaca over the past years, I have become enamored with waterfalls. The Cornell campus, and surrounding town, is full of them.
“The exhibition sets forth and develops the artist’s continued interest in the hidden entanglements between art, politics, and the natural world” (Paula Cooper Gallery)
According to the artist, “ this show is about a series of strange encounters with peculiar objects and living beings: invasive birds used as military weapons; paintings of clouds that appear on the backs of other paintings; gold and silver cups that attract particular arthropods; and fickle waterfalls.” (Paula Cooper Gallery)
I’m only focusing on the waterfalls.
Walid Raad (b. 1967, Chbaniyeh, Lebanon) works across installation, performance, video, and photography to explore how historical events of physical and psychological violence affect bodies, minds, culture, and narrative. Raad’s work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including Documenta 11 and 13, the 14th Istanbul Biennial, the first Vienna Biennale, the Whitney Biennial (2000 and 2002), and the 50th Venice Biennale. In 2021, the artist had one-person exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain de Nimes, France; La Maison des Arts, Brussels, Belgium; and the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain. Previous one-person exhibitions were organized by the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; and Carré d’Art, Nîmes. His 2015 survey exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston and Museo Jumex in Mexico City. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Kunsthaus Zürich; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others. (Paula Cooper Gallery)