The project presented by Walid Raad plays with authorship, date and authenticity of documents. They are always in doubt, which makes us think about construction of reality.
The Atlas Group is an artistic project with archival roots developed by Walid Raad between 1989 and 2004 with the objective of investigating and documenting Lebanons contemporary history, particularly during the wars between 1975 and 1990.
With headquarters in Beirut and New York, The Atlas Groups archive contains a vast collection of documents that have been ceded, found or created by Walid Raad. Their authenticity, authorship and dating are always in doubt.
The show organized by Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
includes a large number of files organised in three categories: Type A, documents with an author; Type FD, found documents; and Type AGP or Atlas Group productions. All the works, which can be installations, video, photographs and even performance art, show daily life in Lebanon during a crucial phase of its history and are included in a project that promotes a reflection on how history can be not only told and organised but also constructed and fabricated.
Walid Raad (Lebanon, 1967) was born and grew up in East Beirut, a zone with a Christian majority. He is currently an associate professor at The Cooper Union in New York and a member of the Arab Image Foundation, an association founded in 1996. His work has been included in group exhibitions in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, and noteworthy is his participation in the Whitney Biennial, Documenta 11 and the Venice Biennale, all in 2002. The Atlas Group has had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries such as The Kitchen in New York, Hamburger Banhof in Berlin or the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City.