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Michael Rakowitz, April is the cruellest month, 2021, A Waterfronts commission with Turner Contemporary for England’s Creative Coast

Michael Rakowitz, April is the cruellest month, 2021

A Waterfronts commission with Turner Contemporary for England’s Creative Coast

Michael Rakowitz, April is the cruellest month (detail), 2021

Michael Rakowitz, April is the cruellest month (detail), 2021

Michael Rakowitz, April is the cruellest month (detail), 2021​

Michael Rakowitz, April is the cruellest month (detail), 2021​

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh), 2018
10,500 Iraqi date syrup cans, metal frame

Approx. 309.88 x 60.96 x 276.86 cm
Commissioned for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth, London

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, (Room H, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist

(Room H, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2018

Middle Eastern food packaging and newspapers, with glue on panel

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, (Room H, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist

(Room H, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, (Room H, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist

(Room H, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, (Room G, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist

(Room G, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2018

Relief from Middle Eastern packaging and newspapers, glue, cardboard on wooden structures, museum label

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, (Room G, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist

(Room G, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) (detail), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, (Room Z, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist

(Room Z, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2018

Middle Eastern packaging and newspapers, glue, cardboard on wooden structures

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, 2007- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, 2007- ongoing
Drawings, Arabic newspaper and food packaging cardboard sculptures, museum labels, sound

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (detail), 2007- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (detail), 2007- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, 2007 - ongoing, Wall-mounted vitrine with perspex cover; 7 objects from found Middle Eastern packaging and newspapers, glue, museum labels, 23 x 110 x 23 cm

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, 2007 - ongoing

Wall-mounted vitrine with perspex cover; 7 objects from found Middle Eastern packaging and newspapers, glue, museum labels, 23 x 110 x 23 cm

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (detail), 2007- ongoing 

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (detail), 2007- ongoing 

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (detail), 2007- ongoing 

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (detail), 2007- ongoing 

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health, 2011- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health, 2011- ongoing
Arabic newspapers, food packaging, cardboard, museum labels

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health, 2011- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health, 2011- ongoing
Arabic newspapers, food packaging, cardboard, museum labels

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health (detail), 2011- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health (detail), 2011- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health (detail), 2011- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, May the obdurate foe not be in good health (detail), 2011- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, The Ballad of Special Ops Cody (still), 2017

Michael Rakowitz, The Ballad of Special Ops Cody (still), 2017
Stop-motion video
Director of photographer and editor: Robert Chase Heishman

Michael Rakowitz, I’m good at love, I’m good at hate, its in between I freeze (still), 2018

Michael Rakowitz, I’m good at love, I’m good at hate, its in between I freeze (still), 2018
Multimedia installation: two-player video archival channels, objects and artifacts
Directed by Michael Rakowitz and Robert Chase Heishman

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (frottages), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (frottages), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (frottages) (detail), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (frottages) (detail), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (plaster casts) (detail), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (plaster casts) (detail), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (plaster casts) (detail), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (plaster casts) (detail), 2015

Michael Rakowitz, Imperfect Binding: A Homage to Francesco Federico Cerruit, 2019

Michael Rakowitz, Imperfect Binding: A Homage to Francesco Federico Cerruit, 2019
Damaged and unbound Iraqi Jewish prayer books, printed in Livorno, repaired in Turin, Dimensions variable

Michael Rakowitz, Imperfect Binding: A Homage to Francesco Federico Cerruit, 2019

Michael Rakowitz, Imperfect Binding: A Homage to Francesco Federico Cerruit, 2019
Damaged and unbound Iraqi Jewish prayer books, printed in Livorno, repaired in Turin, Dimensions variable

Michael Rakowitz, What dust will rise?, 2012, Bamiyan travertine, glass, vitrines, bullets, shrapnel, meteorites, Libyan desert glass, trinitite, fragments of the destroyed Buddhas of Bamiyan, books burned during the Second World War

Michael Rakowitz, What dust will rise?, 2012

Bamiyan travertine, glass, vitrines, bullets, shrapnel, meteorites, Libyan desert glass, trinitite, fragments of the destroyed Buddhas of Bamiyan, books burned during the Second World War

Michael Rakowitz, What Dust Will Rise? (Prayer Book of Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg), 2012

Michael Rakowitz, What Dust Will Rise? (Prayer Book of Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg), 2012
Hand carved Bamiyan travertine, 35.6 x 48.3 x 7.6 cm

Michael Rakowitz, What dust will rise? (detail), 2012

Michael Rakowitz, What dust will rise? (detail), 2012

Michael Rakowitz, What dust will rise? (detail), 2012

Michael Rakowitz, What dust will rise? (detail), 2012

Michael Rakowitz, Spoils, 2011, Culinary performance

Michael Rakowitz, Spoils, 2011

Culinary performance

Park Avenue Autumn Restaurant, New York, September 2011

Michael Rakowitz, John (Egypt), Ringo (Jordan), Paul (Palestine) and George (Iraq) (The Breakup Series), 2010-2012, Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing, Dimensions variable

Michael Rakowitz, John (Egypt), Ringo (Jordan), Paul (Palestine) and George (Iraq) (The Breakup Series), 2010-2012

Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing, Dimensions variable

Michael Rakowitz, John (Egypt) (detail), 2012, Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing

Michael Rakowitz, John (Egypt) (detail), 2012

Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing

132.6 x 55.9 cm

Michael Rakowitz, Ringo (Jordan) (detail), 2012, Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing

Michael Rakowitz, Ringo (Jordan) (detail), 2012

Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing

125.2 x 55.9 cm

Michael Rakowitz, Paul (Palestine) (detail), 2012, Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing

Michael Rakowitz, Paul (Palestine) (detail), 2012

Vintage satin, medals, lacquer pen writing

134.6 x 55.9 cm

Michael Rakowitz, Study for The Breakup – Maps II, The Summer of Setback, Fantasy Objects, The Moment(s) (The Breakup Series), 2010-2014

Michael Rakowitz, Study for The Breakup – Maps II, The Summer of Setback, Fantasy Objects, The Moment(s) (The Breakup Series), 2010-2014
Mixed media

Michael Rakowitz, Study for The Breakup – Maps II, The Summer of Setback, Fantasy Objects, The Moment(s) (The Breakup Series) (detail), 2010-2014

Michael Rakowitz, Study for The Breakup – Maps II, The Summer of Setback, Fantasy Objects, The Moment(s) (The Breakup Series) (detail), 2010-2014

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail, 2010, Found Arabic packaging and newspaper, glue, cardboard, and wood

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail, 2010

Found Arabic packaging and newspaper, glue, cardboard, and wood

493.4 x 597.5 x 95.3 cm

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail (detail), 2010

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail (detail), 2010

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail (detail), 2010

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail (detail), 2010

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail (detail), 2010

Michael Rakowitz, May the arrogant not prevail (detail), 2010

Michael Rakowitz, The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own, 2009, Mixed-media installation, Dimensions variable

Michael Rakowitz, The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own, 2009

Mixed-media installation, Dimensions variable

Michael Rakowitz, The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own (detail), 2009

Michael Rakowitz, The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own (detail), 2009

Michael Rakowitz, Zabiba, The King, The Dragon & Jonathan Earl Bowser Installation, (Strike the Empire Back Series), 2009

Michael Rakowitz, Zabiba, The King, The Dragon & Jonathan Earl Bowser Installation, (Strike the Empire Back Series), 2009

Michael Rakowitz, The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own (detail), 2009

Michael Rakowitz, The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one’s own (detail), 2009

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming, 2008

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming, 2008
Mixed media installation

Demolished aboroginal houses, wires, copper wire, wood, pencil on vellum drawings

465 x 336 x 336 cm, 4 drawings: 61 x 198 cm

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming (detail), 2008

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming (detail), 2008

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming (detail), 2008

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming (detail), 2008

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming (detail), 2008

Michael Rakowitz, White man got no dreaming (detail), 2008

Michael Rakowitz, Olympic Stadium (Proposal for Flexible Architecture), 2006, Miniature plastic stadium, 9 x 11 x 7 cm

Michael Rakowitz, Olympic Stadium (Proposal for Flexible Architecture), 2006

Miniature plastic stadium, 9 x 11 x 7 cm

Michael Rakowitz, Dull Roar, 2005

Michael Rakowitz, Dull Roar, 2005
Drawings on paper and vellum, inflatables, motors, wooden platform, mixed media

Michael Rakowitz, Dull Roar, 2005

Michael Rakowitz, Dull Roar, 2005

Michael Rakowitz, Positive Agitation, 2005, Hoover 150 vacuum cleaner (vintage, Henry Dreyfuss),

Michael Rakowitz, Positive Agitation, 2005

Hoover 150 vacuum cleaner (vintage, Henry Dreyfuss),

exhaust pipe, motor with timer, 121.9 x 152.4 x 152.4 cm

Pencil on vellum, 61 x 110.5 cm

Michael Rakowitz, Minaret, 2001-ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, Minaret, 2001-ongoing
(Performance) Mosque alarm clock, megaphone

Michael Rakowitz, Minaret, 2001-ongoing

Michael Rakowitz, Minaret, 2001-ongoing
(Performance) Mosque alarm clock, megaphone

Michael Rakowitz, paraSite, 1997-ongoing, in corso, shelter for Joe H., Battery Park City, New York, 2000

Michael Rakowitz, paraSite, 1997-ongoing

in corso, shelter for Joe H., Battery Park City, New York, 2000

Plastic bags, polyethylene tubing, hooks, tape, dimensions variable

Michael Rakowitz, paraSite, 1997-ongoing, shelter for Bill S., Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1998

Michael Rakowitz, paraSite, 1997-ongoing

shelter for Bill S., Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1998

Plastic bags, polyethylene tubing, hooks, tape, dimensions variable

Biography

Michael Rakowitz perfoming Minaret, 2001-ongoing

Concerned with history and current events, Michael Rakowitz uses his work to explore pressing issues and to invite others into the conversations fostered by his public projects, installations, and events. He engages in fact-finding and makes connections with people at all opportunities, focusing on individuals involved in situations that range from the personal to the local to the geopolitical. Among his first projects is paraSITE (begun 1997), a series of inflatable homes built in consultation with the homeless people who would occupy them. Rakowitz’s own Iraqi-Jewish heritage figures prominently in many of his works, reflecting his deep connection to the country. Since 2004, with his ongoing project, RETURN, he has been attempting to import Iraqi dates into the U.S., the centerpiece of a multipart project that illustrates the cultural richness of this country in crisis.

Food truck of Enemy Kitchen, 2003- ongoing

Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973, New York) is the recipient of the 2020 Nasher Prize, the 2018 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (Visual Arts category), a 2012 Tiffany Foundation Award; a 2008 Creative Capital Grant; a Sharjah Biennial Jury Award; a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Architecture and Environmental Structures; the 2003 Dena Foundation Award, and the 2002 Design 21 Grand Prix from UNESCO. He was awarded the Fourth Plinth commission (2018-2020) in London’s Trafalgar Square. From 2019 - 2020, a survey of Rakowitz’s work traveled from Whitechapel Gallery in London, to Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Torino, to the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai, marking his first major museum retrospective in the region. He has shown regularly at Sharjah Art Foundation including mostly recently in Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber (2019) and Unsettled Objects (2021) at the Flying Saucer.

Rakowitz's work has appeared in venues worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13), MoMA PS1, MoMA, MassMOCA, Castello di Rivoli, Palais de Tokyo, the 16th Biennale of Sydney, the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials, Sharjah Biennial 8, Tirana Biennale, National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt, Transmediale 05, FRONT Triennial in Cleveland, and CURRENT: LA Public Art Triennial. He has had solo projects and exhibitions with Creative Time, Tate Modern in London, The Wellin Museum of Art, MCA Chicago, Lombard Freid Gallery and Jane Lombard Gallery in New York, SITE Santa Fe, Galerie Barbara Wien in Berlin, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, Malmö Konsthall, Tensta Konsthall, and Kunstraum Innsbruck.

His works are featured in major private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; Van Abbemuseum, Endhoven, Netherlands; The British Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Kabul National Museum, Afghanistan; and UNESCO, Paris.

He lives and works in Chicago.

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