Michael Rakowitz, an artist whose sculptures, installations, and films have frequently focused on the loss of cultural objects in conflicts, will do a talk hosted by Dallas’s Nasher Sculpture Center. Set to take place on April 16, the talk will be live-streamed via ARTnews’s and the Nasher Sculpture Center’s YouTube channels.
Rakowitz was named the 2020 winner of Nasher Prize, an annual award for sculptors that comes with $100,000, making it one of the biggest art awards in the U.S. At the time, Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick praised Rakowitz for creating “dense webs of meaning in distinct bodies of work rich with insight and surprise.”
In his talk this week, Rakowitz will focus on notions of distance and separation. The question guiding his lecture will be: “If I can’t be there with you, how can I show you where I am?”
Rakowitz has drawn acclaim over the years for work that has meditated on the ways that cultural history is translated across various eras and national borders and the role that war plays in all this. Among his most celebrated works is The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh), a 2018 sculpture made for London’s Trafalgar Square that reimagined an age-old sculpture of an Assyrian deity using 10,500 Iraqi date syrup cans. The original sculpture had been destroyed in 2015 by ISIS.
His work has been seen widely at institution as such as the Castello di Rivoli in Italy, the Jameel Art Centre in Dubai, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, as well as at biennials such as Documenta, the Istanbul Biennial, and the Sharjah Biennial. In 2019, he made headlines for choosing not to participate in the Whitney Biennial as a protest against Whitney Museum vice chair Warren Kanders, who later resigned.