Walid Raad – Cotton Under My Feet
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisz, Madrid
October 6, 2021 – January 23, 2022
The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) present Cotton Under My Feet, a solo exhibition of new work and performative walkthroughs by US-Lebaneseartist Walid Raad. Commissioned by TBA21 and specifically conceived for the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, the exhibition presents work created during Raad’s three-year exploration of the Museum’s collection, archives, and genesis, resulting in museum-wide interpretive spaces that mobilize stories and premonitions around the collection.
Raad presents imagined and hidden episodes, tangled connections, and alternative conservation protocols in his exploration of various historical collective realities surrounding the acquisition of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection by the Spanish State. The result is a non-linear narrative body of work that incorporates installation, performance, photography,and video throughout the museum’s galleries. Part of a multi-year collaboration between the Museum and TBA21, Cotton Under My Feet is curated by Daniela Zyman and will be on view October 6, 2021–January 23, 2022.
The commissioned works conceptually connect to Raad’s existing practice, which is rooted in historical fiction and traces how violent events are lived, experienced, visualized and narrated. Through this lens, the exhibition which coincides with the centennial of the collection’s architect, Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza – unearths the founder’s legacy through an examination of various odd artifacts that Raad found or imagines in the museum’s collection. What unfolds are images and stories around historical events and conditions concerning the sale, transfer, display, and storage of the artworks within the Museum’s collection. The exhibition and walkthroughs expose the visitor to a multitude of artworks and stories on the origins and futures of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and other large western and non-western art collections in the world.