Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West | Museum of Contemporary Art | Galleries | Chicago Reader
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Nathan Keay/MCA Chicago

Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West 

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 4 2018
Throughout his career, conceptual artist and Northwestern professor Michael Rakowitz has used simple provocations to reveal the complexities of human relationships. Rakowitz is the son of Jewish parents, an American father and an Iraqi-American mother, and grew up in Great Neck, New York, on Long Island. His maternal grandparents fled Iraq in 1946, no longer feeling safe there when British colonial forces withdrew after World War II and political upheaval ensued. Much of Rakowitz's work centers around the absence of anything "Iraqi" in the U.S. that isn't related to war, and his sculptures, performances, drawings, and illustrations in some ways act as a remedy to that—they're substitutes for missing cultural context. "Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West," now showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art, features ten of his most iconic artworks and a new stop-motion animation piece. The show is filled with stories, conversations with strangers and new friends, and research; it's a demonstration of the human desire to manifest memories. Continue reading >>

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