Book Blog: Walid Raad
By Sahar Baharloo
Lebanese-born, New York-based artist Walid Raad is hard to figure out and I think he likes it that way. At first his book, with its deceptively bland yet melodramatic title, Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World: Part 1_ Volume 1_ Chapter 1_ (Beirut:1992-2005), might just seem like a box of random objects. It is actually a fictional history and archive put together by Raad under the guise of an organization he created called the Atlas Group. The goal of the Atlas Group is to record the recent history of Lebanon. In this book (the name is just too long to retype), Raad gives us the first chapters of each volume of this book. These chapters all take different forms.