Rakowitz’s work is currently on show at the Whitechapel Gallery, as the headline exhibition of the summer. The exhibition is divided into eight multifaceted installations, which together make up Rakowitz’s most important projects from the past two decades. Between them, they encompass architecture, cultural artefacts, cuisine and geopolitics, spanning the many centuries between 750BC and the present day.
Michael Rakowitz's Lamassu, the current Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square
The exhibition of Rakowitz’s work is timely, coinciding with the showing of his Lamassu sculpture, which is currently on display in Trafalgar Square as the current Fourth Plinth. The piece, a recreation of a sculpture of a lamassu destroyed by Isis in 2015, which is made out of empty Iraqi date syrup cans, represents the destruction of Iraq’s date industry.
‘From the Assyrian winged bull he placed in Trafalgar Square to the stone books he had carved from the ruins of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddhas, sculptor, detective and some time cook Michael Rakowitz turns the disasters of war into beacons of knowledge and hope,’ said director of Whitechapel Gallery and co-curator of the exhibition, Iwona Blazwick.
Artist Michael Rakowitz
The Whitechapel Gallery exhibition opens with an installation titled 'Dull Roar' (2005), an inflatable tower block which can be seen rhythmically rising and falling, inspired by the 1950s American Pruitt-Igoe housing complex.
Highlight installations inside the exhibition include ‘The Breakup’ (2010). Rakowitz is an ardent Beatles fan and when he discovered the band's last concerts were to be in the Arab World, his response was to create a piece which superimposes ephemera surrounding the story of the Beatles’ break up over images of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the collapse of Pan-Arabism.
The exhibition culminates with ‘The Visionaries’. In 2006, Rakowitz quizzed the citizens of post-Soviet Budapest about how they would fill the many derelict building sites that dot their city ‘like missing teeth’. Their visionary architecture is displayed as if floating in mid-air, ending the exhibition with a collectively envisioned future.
|What||Michael Rakowitz, Whitechapel Gallery|
|Where||Whitechapel Gallery, 72-78 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Aldgate East (underground)|
04 Jun 19 – 25 Aug 19, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Price||£25.90 per pair|
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|