Via Chicago, IL, USA
Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-American conceptual artist who operates within art spaces and beyond them. In 1998 he initiated paraSITE, an ongoing project in which the artist custom builds inflatable shelters for homeless people that attach to the exterior outtake vents of a building’s heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system. In 2011, Rakowitz was commissioned by Creative Time to produce his project Spoils, a culinary intervention at New York City’s Park Avenue restaurant that invited diners to eat off of plates looted from Saddam Hussein’s palaces. The project culminated in the repatriation of the former Iraqi president’s flatware to the Republic of Iraq at the behest of Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki on December 15, 2011—the date Coalition Forces left Iraq. In 2012, his Enemy Kitchen food truck served Iraqi food to Chicago’s hungry public, served by veterans of the Iraq War working under Iraqi refugee chefs, and will soon return to the streets. In 2014, his project The Breakup, which was first presented by Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem in 2010, was exhibited at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago. Rakowitz’s work has appeared in venues worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13), MoMA, MassMOCA, the 10th Istanbul Biennial, Sharjah Biennial 8. He has had solo exhibitions at Tate Modern in London, Lombard Freid Gallery in New York, Alberto Peola Arte Contemporanea in Torino and Stadtturmgalerie/Kunstraum Innsbruck. He is the recipient of a 2012 Tiffany Foundation Award; a 2008 Creative Capital Grant; a Sharjah Biennial Jury Award; a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Architecture and Environmental Structures and the 2002 Design 21 Grand Prix from UNESCO. His work features in major private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; Van Abbemuseum, Endhoven, Netherlands; The British Museum; Kabul National Museum, Afghanistan and UNESCO, Paris. Rakowitz is Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University.