Release of 06.10.2021
Walid Raad, Following Martin Johnson Heade, 2021. Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for the exhibition “Cotton Under My Feet” at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, 2021
The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) present Cotton Under My Feet, a solo exhibition of new work and performative walkthroughs by US-Lebaneseartist Walid Raad. Commissioned by TBA21 and specifically conceived for the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, the exhibition presents work created during Raad’s three-year exploration of the Museum’s collection, archives, and genesis, resulting in museum-wide interpretive spaces that mobilize stories and premonitions around the collection. Raad presents imagined and hidden episodes, tangled connections, and alternative conservation protocols in his exploration of various historical collective realities surrounding the acquisition of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection by the Spanish State. The result is a non-linear narrative body of work that incorporates installation, performance, photography, and video throughout the museum’s galleries. Part of a multi-year collaboration between the Museum and TBA21, Cotton Under My Feet is curated by Daniela Zyman and will be on view October 6, 2021–January 23, 2022.
The commissioned works conceptually connect to Raad’s existing practice, which is rooted in historical fiction and traces how violent events are lived, experienced, visualized and narrated.. Through this lens, the exhibition—which coincides with the centennial of the collection’s architect, Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza—unearths the founder’s legacy through an examination of various odd artifacts that Raad found or imagines in the museum’s collection. What unfolds are images and stories around historical events and conditions concerning the sale, transfer, display, and storage of the artworks within the Museum’s collection. The exhibition and walkthroughs expose the visitor to a multitude of artworks and stories on the origins and futures of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and other large western and non-western art collections in the world.
For more visitor and ticketing information, visit museothyssen.org.
Period I: October 6-10; 13-16, 2021
Period II: November 14; 16-20, 2021
Two performances per day, 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Further dates will be announced. Walkthroughs are held in English with Spanish translation.
Reservations via Eventbrite
Join TBA21 and Walid Raad on a 70-minute performative walkthrough of the exhibition Walid Raad: Cotton Under My Feet at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza.
About Walid Raad
Walid Raad (b. 1967, Chbaniyeh, Lebanon) works across installation, performance, video, and photography to explore how historical events of physical and psychological violence affect bodies, minds, and culture. He is well-known for The Atlas Group (1989-2004), a 15-year project about the contemporary history of Lebanon. Raad’s work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including Documenta 11 and 13, the 14th Istanbul Biennial, the first Vienna Biennale, the 31st Sao Paulo Bienal, and the 50th Venice Biennale. He has had one-person exhibitions at the TBA21, Vienna; Louvre Museum, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Carré d’Art, Nîmes. His 2015 survey exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston and Museo Jumex in Mexico City. His work is in the collections of the Tate Modern, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others.
About Daniela Zyman
Daniela Zyman is artistic director of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21). She joined TBA21 in 2003 and has played an instrumental role in co-shaping its exhibitions and commissions program. Between 1995 and 2001 Daniela was chief curator of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna, which included the founding and programming of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. From 2000 to 2003 she worked as the artistic director of the Künstlerhaus, Vienna and as director of A9 Forum Transeuropa. Her long-term inquiries into forms of artistic “counter-research” led to a PhD dissertation. She is lecturing at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, and frequently authors essays for art publications.In 2011, she curated the performative exhibition by Walid Raad Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–11) at TBA21, Vienna.
About Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) is a leading international art and advocacy foundation harnessing the power of art as an agent for change. With hubs in Madrid and Venice that radiate worldwide, TBA21 has partnered on the realization of more than 100 works that engage the public in the most pressing issues of our times. Created in 2002 by the activist, philanthropist, and collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, TBA21 represents the fourth generation of the Thyssen family’s commitment to the arts.
About Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection is one of the most important private collections of paintings of the 20th century and its history is a fascinating one. Although originally a private collection, today it belongs to the Spanish public after its acquisition by the government in 1993, just a year after the museum was opened. Dürer, Rafael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Manet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Picasso, Hopper, Rothko is just part of the impressive list of great names that make up this collection, the work of just two generations. All the artistic movements of Western art from the 13th to 20th centuries are included in the collection, highlighting the exquisite taste of Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1875-1947) and of his son Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921-2002).