Sunday, March 9, 2008

Let's Be Honest, the Weather Helped

I went to the MoMA today to check out the "Color Chart" exhibition (running through May 12). Pictured: Part of Walid Raad's "Let's Be Honest, the Weather Helped," which made more of an impression on me than anything else on display. Raad explains his work this way:


Like many around me in Beirut in the late 1970s, I collected bullets and shrapnel.  I would run out to the streets after a night or day of shelling to remove them from walls cars and trees.  I kept detailed notes of where I found every bullet and photographed the sites of my findings, covering the holds with dots that corresponded to the bullet's diameter and the mesmerizing hues I found on the bullet's tips. It took me ten years to realize that ammunition manufacturers follow distinct color codes to mark and identify their cartridges and shells.  It also took me another ten years to realize that my notebooks in part catalogue seventeen countries and organizations that continue to supply the various militias and armies fighting in Lebanon: Belgium, China, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Libya, NATO, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the USA, the UK, and Venezuela. 

2 comments:

Curtis Mann said...

I have been searching for more info on this project. Does Raad ever give a legend which correspond to the colored dots?

Bonhomie Page said...

hi Curtis -- didn't notice your comment earlier, but since posting this, I've learned that Raad's project is actually "semi-fictitious" (http://www.villagevoice.com/art/0607,saltz,72140,13.html) ...