Curated by: Iwona Blazwick, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Marianna Vecellio
Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to present on October 7th 2019 the first survey exhibition in Europe featuring Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz (Great Neck, NY, 1973), winner of the prestigious Nasher Prize 2020. This award recognizes a living artist whose body of work has had an extraordinary impact on our understanding of sculpture. Previous award winners have been Doris Salcedo, Iza Genzken, Pierre Huyghe and Theaster Gates.
The exhibition is co-organised with Whitechapel Gallery, London, and drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Iwona Blazwick along with Castello di Rivoli Curator Marianna Vecellio and Whitechapel Gallery Curator Habda Rashid. In Spring 2020, it will travel to the Jameel Foundation, Dubai.
Rakowitz’s complex body of work includes sculptures, drawings, installations, video, collaborative and performative projects. The exhibition presents major artworks envisioned in his over-twenty-year practice traversing architecture, archeology, cooking practice, and geopolitics from ancient times to nowadays. His artworks speak with an urgent voice to historic turning points due to wars or other trauma, with an acute perspective poised to critique the paradoxes and contradictions of globalization.
On view at Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art from October 8, 2019, the exhibition establishes a dialogue with Lamassu, 2018, a human headed winged bull that Michael Rakowitz reconstructed from an Assyrian statue as part of his project Fourth Plinth, standing on Trafalgar Square’s, London, until March 2020.
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, affirms: “Highly sensitive and empathetic towards human suffering and pain, Rakowitz is well known for his relational and public participatory projects, also conveyed within art contexts such as museums or galleries.”
In his review of the Whitechapel presentation of this same exhibition in ‘The Guardian’, art critic Adrian Searle has stated; “Michael Rakowitz’s fascinating […] show is filled with surprises. It is also an exhausting experience. Rakowitz’s work feeds on backstories and explications. […] Stick around, you might learn something – and find yourself moved, and angered, and overwhelmed.”