Backstroke of the West
This first monograph of the acclaimed Iraqi-American artist, Michael Rakowitz, takes a historical, scholarly, and in-depth look at his politically charged work.
Iraqi-American Michael Rakowitz’s provocative multimedia projects confront popular political histories, particularly those of the US and Iraq. Whether serving Iraqi cuisine from his Enemy Kitchen food truck alongside Iraqi refugees and war vets, or recreating items lost during the 2003 looting of the National Museum in Baghdad, Rakowitz works to address the trauma created by Saddam Hussein’s regime and the US. The book explores ten of Rakowitz’s most renowned works and a new commission. The accompanying texts, drawings, and personal commentary offer a multi-faceted look at the artist’s entire practice, demonstrating art’s ability to engage and confront the viewer and to generate socio-political commentary across broad social and cultural divides.
Omar Kholeif is a writer, curator, editor, and broadcaster. Over the last decade he has curated and/or commissioned more than 100 exhibitions and artists’ works, and authored or edited more than twenty books and catalogues on global modern and contemporary art. He is the former Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.