Walid Raad: TWO DROPS PER HEARTBEAT
Walid Raad was a guest of Mladi Levi festival in 2019, presenting his work Les Louvres and/or Kicking the Dead. And exactly that year Raad was invited by Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in Madrid to propose an exhibition about Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s art collection. Until that point, Raad knew almost nothing about the baron, his family, personal life, businesses, and art collection. Raad’s links to Thyssen-Bornemisza were his daughter, Francesca, and an Oriental carpet she owned that Raad had been trying to find for years. After months of research, Raad found himself deep in several Thyssen-Bornemisza tunnels which forked and braided into several historical and fictional spaces. These ranged from images of clouds that appeared mysteriously on the back of several Old Master paintings to gold and silver cups that attract specific types of arthropods; angels that self-restore; and demon-like creatures tugging at the edges of swamps.
The Ljubljana edition of this exhibition will assume the format of artist talk titled Two drops per heartbeat. Raad’s talk documents his free fall through the Thyssen-Bornemisza collections, and the various frightening, joyous, and perplexing situations, objects, and figures he met along the way. As any storyteller will tell you, the more specific a story is, the more general it turns out to be. And the more Walid Raad speaks of one specific collector and his art collection, the more we find ourselves in different parts of the world (amongst others also in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and in different pockets of history and the present day.
Artist talk is in English with Slovene surtitles.
Author: Walid Raad
Cotton under my feet was commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.
Presentation at Mladi Levi with the support of: Trust for Mutual Understanding, ACT – Art, Climate, Transition, Evropska unija – program Ustvarjalna Evropa: Kultura
Translation to Slovene: Tadej Turnšek
Photo by: Walid Raad