Mapping Sitting

By Walid Raad and Akram Zaatari
Different Locations
2003  -  2005

In Mapping Sitting, we present geographically and culturally specific photographic works that raise questions about portraiture, performance, photography and identity in general. We start with the proliferation of portrait photographic practices in the Arab world in the early to mid-20th century - passport studio photographs, institutional group portrait photographs, 'Surprise' photographs and street portrait photographs by itinerant photographers - to examine how the photographic portrait functioned in the Arab world as a commodity, a luxury item, an adornment; as a description of individuals and groups; and as the inscription of social identities. We proceed from the thesis that the photographic practices in question are symptomatic of an evolving capitalist organization of labor and its products, and of established conventions of iconic representation. We also propose that these practices were not only reflective but also productive of new notions of work, leisure, play, citizenship, community, and individuality. - Walid Raad & Akram Zaatari

Exhibition itinerary:

  • House of World Culture, Berlin, Germany, Mar 2003  
  • World Wide Video Festival, Netherlands, May 2003
  • Video Brasil Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Oct 2003  
  • Centro de Estudios Juan de Mariana, Toledo, Spain, Nov 2003
  • National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, Jan 2004
  • Centre pour l'Image Contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland, Apr 2004
  • Beiteddine Festival, Beiteddine, Lebanon, Jul 2004
  • Singapore Contemporary Art Museum, Singapore, Oct-Nov 2004
  • Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A., Apr-Jun 2005
  • Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Oregon, U.S.A., Aug-Sep 2005  
  • Carleton College, Minnesota, U.S.A., Oct-Nov 2006
  • Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium, May 2002
  • Nicéphore Niepce Museum, Chalon-sur-Saone, France, Mar 2004   
  • Die Photographische Sammlung, Koln, Germany, Sep 2002   
  • Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway, Feb 2003   
  • Grey Art Gallery, New York, U.S.A., Jan-Apr 2005  



All Contents
Collection images
Installation shots from different locations