Wafaa Bilal, 3rdi, 2010. Courtesy of the artist, photograph by Wafaa Bilal.

CANCELED: Graduate School of Art MFA in Visual Art Lecture: Wafaa Bilal

March 20, 2020
5p Reception, 5:30p Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

The health and safety of our community and visitors is a top priority for the Sam Fox School and the Kemper Art Museum. Given recent guidance from the CDC on limiting the spread of COVID-19, as a precautionary measure, we regretfully announce the cancellation of all public programs through April 30, 2020. We are hoping to reschedule many of these events and will provide updates on our website as they become available. We are continuing to evaluate the status for events scheduled to take place after April 30.

We encourage you to visit for the most up-to-date information on the university’s policies regarding COVID-19.

Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal will deliver a lecture titled Performing Change, presented by the Graduate School of Art's MFA in Visual Art program. Bilal will discuss specific bodies of work including Domestic Tension (aka Shoot an Iraqi), The Things I Could Tell…, and his most recent project 168:01, elaborating on the evolution of his work and reflecting on his personal experiences living in both the conflict zone of Iraq and the comfort zone of the United States. Bilal’s work explores both the trauma of conflicts and post-conflict relationships through social engagement.

Bilal's dynamic, participatory work blends technology and performance to engage viewers in dialogue and places him in the role of the artist as platform initiator, helping to shift and change the distribution channels in the media. The controversial aspects of his work spark deeper conversation and provoke passive viewers to take an active stance with regard to social justice and their own personal/political realities.

An arts professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Bilal is known internationally for provoking dialogue about international politics and internal dynamics through high-profile, technologically driven projects that employ the use of robotics, the internet, and photographic mobile mapping. Using his own body as a medium, Bilal continues to challenge our comfort zone with projects like Domestic Tension, 3rd i, and Counting... He earned his MFA in Art and Technology from SAIC and was recently conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Performance Art by DePauw University. He lives and works in New York City.