Michael Rakowitz was born in 1973 in Great Neck, NY. The artist draws upon extensive research on cultural objects and events, in order to weave together complex histories and unlikely symbols in his sculptures, installations, participatory workshops, films, and architectural interventions. His Iraqi-Jewish heritage and the damage caused by long conflicts between the West and the Middle East also serve as important influences for his work. Rakowitz critiques the ongoing forces of colonization, bringing attention not only to the value of cultural artifacts that have been lost, looted, or destroyed but also to the people who have suffered from continuing violence. His work asks viewers to reconsider the relationships between hospitality and hostility, and provenance and expropriation, and to confront the complicity of cultural institutions and audiences in geopolitical matters.

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