Ghosts,Hosts, Monuments, and Admonishments

Friday, February 21, 2020 - 6:00pm
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Harrison Auditorium, 3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

The Penn Cultural Heritage Center and Perry World House present a keynote address with artist Michael Rakowitz, the 2020 Nasher Sculpture Prize Laureate and Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. He will speak on several projects spanning the past 20 years that engage with issues of displacement, disappearance, and reappearance, including his ongoing series on the pillaging of Iraq's cultural sites, titled The invisible enemy should not exist.

Michael Rakowitz is an artist living and working in Chicago. Rakowitz was recently named the 2020 Nasher Sculpture Prize Laureate and is Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. He has had solo projects and exhibitions with Creative Time, Tate Modern in London, MCA Chicago, Lombard Freid Gallery in New York, and Kunstraum Innsbruck. He is the recipient of the 2018 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts; 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.

Rakowitz was commissioned by Creative Time in 2011 for his project, Spoils, a culinary intervention at New York City’s Park Avenue restaurant that invited diners to eat off of plates looted from Saddam Hussein’s palaces. The project culminated in the repatriation of the former Iraqi President’s flatware to the Republic of Iraq at the behest of current Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki on December 15, 2011—the date Coalition Forces left Iraq. Enemy Kitchen (2003-ongoing) is a food truck serving Iraqi food to Chicago’s hungry public, staffed by veterans of the Iraq War working under Iraqi refugee chefs.

Another recent project, The Breakup, was first presented by Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem in October 2010, and was exhibited at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago in 2014. He was awarded the Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square, on view through 2020.

A traveling survey of his work premiered at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in June 2019, and is currently on view at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Torino, Italy. It will travel to the Jameel Art Centre in Dubai in 2020.

Free to Registered Guests

Event Type: 
Arts & Culture
Arts and Culture
Visual Arts