Walid Raad & Jalal Toufic – Entrevue
June 12, 2010 | Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna

The conversation with Jalal Toufic is part of Walid Raad's multi year research and art project Scratching on Things I Could Disavow about the history of modern and contemporary art in the Arab World, co-produced by T-B A21. In Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World Walid Raad aims to identify and unpack the ideological, economic, and political dimensions of this recent fascination with the visual arts in the Arab world. Proceeding from the writings of Jalal Toufic and his concept of "the withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster," Raad examines whether and how culture and tradition in the Arab world may have been affected, materially and immaterially, by the various wars that have been waged there by native and external powers.
In his writings Jalal Toufic proposes the concept of “the withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster.” With this concept, Toufic considers whether certain wars lead not only to the material destruction of culture (the destruction of artworks, the burning of books, the looting of museums and other cultural institutions, the collapse of publishing houses, schools and universities, for example) but also whether such wars can affect culture and tradition immaterially.

"In my art project, I lean on Toufic’s concepts and writings because they have provided me with the adequate language to describe in its full complexity my own feelings, experiences, and thoughts about Arab cultural production and tradition, and in particular about Arab visual arts production of the modern and contemporary period. As my project unfolds, I may I refute, modify, confirm or disregard Toufic’s concepts altogether. Nonetheless, and in this project, I proceed form the assumption that culture and tradition have indeed been affected immaterially by the wars of the past century. I do so because my own artwork and that of other artists I have collaborated with in a timely and untimely manner over the past decade have thus far led me to think, feel, experience, and express formally and conceptually this withdrawal." (WR)
Walid Raad & Jalal Toufic – Entrevue, supported by TBA21, 
is part of "Alles anders? - Everything Different?," 
a series of lectures, performances, installations, commissioned by Wiener Festwochen
June 12, 2010
Kunsthalle Wien project space Karlsplatz, Vienna 
Wiener Festwochen