THE ATLAS GROUP/WALID RAAD | WE DECIDED TO LET THEM SAY, “WE ARE CONVINCED,” TWICE_CITY_IV
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
THE ATLAS GROUP/WALID RAAD
WE DECIDED TO LET THEM SAY, “WE ARE CONVINCED,” TWICE_CITY_IV
archival color inkjet print
unframed: 111.8 by 170.2 cm. 44 by 67 in.
framed: 120.7 by 181.6 cm. 47½ by 71½ in.
Executed in 2002-2006, this work is number 3 from an edition of 5, plus 1 artist's proof.
The colour in the printed catalogue is fairly accurate, although the overall tonality is slightly lighter and brighter in the original.
This work is in very good condition. Any scratches or surface irregularity that appears are inherent to the artist's working process.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
New York, Paula Cooper Gallery, Walid Raad, We Decided to Let Them Say "We are Convinced" Twice (It was More Convincing this Way), February - March 2007 (ed. no. unknown)
The grainy, discoloured photographs which comprise Walid Raad’s We decided to let them say “We are Convinced” twice. It was more convincing that way presents snapshots of a world touched by destruction, rendered broken and desolate as a result of the catastrophes that have befallen it. Comprised of fifteen large scale photographs, this series recalls the Israeli Army’s siege of Beirut. Reprinted in 2004 and 2006 from the original negatives taken by a fifteen-year-old Raad in 1982, this body of work relies on performance to weave together historical fact with imaginary narratives. Published under the name The Atlas Group, a fictitious preservation foundation whose aim is to document, study, and produce artefacts from the contemporary history of Lebanon, We decided to let them say “We are Convinced” twice. It was more convincing that way reignites our curiosity in the truth.
In 1998, Raad began performing lectures in which he presented the invented findings of The Atlas Group in an effort to question the authority and reliability of documentation and memory in constructing historical narratives. Continuing in this vein, the photographs included in this series “function not as emblems of fact or scraps of evidence to support the assertions of history, but rather as traces, as symptoms, as strange structural links between history, memory, and fantasy” in the words of art writer Kaelen Wilson-Goldie (Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, ‘Walid Raad: The Atlas Group Opens its Archives’, Fall 2004, Bidoun, online). The discolouration and creases seen in Untitled, Bey82 Artillery I reinforce the sense of authenticity of the photograph and emphasises the paradoxical nature of Raad’s artistic practice in its investigation of the relationship between photographic and video documentation and memory. Coupled with hazy scenes like Untitled (Bey_City_IV), which depicts a city touched by violence, these images of weaponry and destruction remind the viewer that the artist’s experience of trauma has directly shaped his work. These are works based on historic events and rooted in facts, “but as he says, there are different kinds of facts,” writes Eva Respini, Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. “Some facts tend to be historical. Some facts are emotional. And some facts are aesthetic. An artwork is an interesting instance in which one may be able to maintain all these facts in their continuum and their complexity” (Eva Respini cited in: ‘Q+A: Eva Respini on Walid Raad’, February 2016, Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston, online).
Widely collected and internationally exhibited, the complete series is held in the permanent collection of The Centre Pompidou in Paris, and has been shown at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York in 2007 and at the Museum of Modern Art in 2016 to name a few. By challenging the historic dependency on and the media manipulation of the truth, the works of Walid Raad/The Atlas Group are particularly affecting given the tempestuous political climate of today.