Tune into Shumon Basar and Michael Rakowitz’s  session from October 28, 2020.

THE ESSENTIAL… is a new series of conversations, hosted by Shumon Basar, where notable guests share the foundations of what they do, how they think — and the path that got them where that is. They list the books, films, albums, interviews, essays and anything else that proved formative in their own making, and which they’d pass on to future generations to discover anew. Since influences pass through time like gravitational waves, THE ESSENTIAL… becomes an intimate opportunity to be inspired by inspiration itself. Less concerned with historical canons, THE ESSENTIAL… is more like an open syllabus, annotated with autobiographical asides. The second edition of The Essential… will delve deep into the influences and creative trajectory of artist Michael Rakowitz, on the occasion of his first solo exhibition in Asia and the Middle East.

Michael Rakowitz is an artist living and working in Chicago and is Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. He was awarded the Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2018 and is the recipient of the 2020 Nasher Prize for Sculpture, in recognition of his vision of sculpture’s possibilities in the face of political and humanitarian crises. His work has appeared in venues worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13), P.S.1, MoMA, MassMOCA, Castello di Rivoli, Palais de Tokyo, the 16th Biennale of Sydney, the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials, Sharjah Biennial 8, Tirana Biennale, National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt, Transmediale 05, and FRONT Triennial in Cleveland. He has had solo projects and exhibitions with Creative Time, Tate Modern in London, MCA Chicago, Lombard Freid Gallery and Jane Lombard Gallery in New York. He is the recipient of the 2018 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts; 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; the 2003 Dena Foundation Award, and the 2002 Design 21 Grand Prix from UNESCO.

Shumon Basar is a writer, curator and cultural critic. He is Commissioner of Global Art Forum in Dubai; Editor-at-large of TANK magazine; Contributing Editor at Bidoun; Adjunct Curator at Art Jameel; and a member of Fondazione Prada’s Thought Council. Together with Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist, he is co-author of The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, and co-curator of the exhibition Age of You, which was shown at MOCA Toronto, and is forthcoming at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai.



You may also be interested in


Michael Rakowitz

March 11, 2020 - November 22, 2020


Research Project

Tuning Baghdad: An Audio Visual Meander with Regine Basha

October 21, 2020 - December 30, 2020


Hiwa K: Do you remember what you are burning?

December 16, 2020 - July 24, 2021