Michael Rakowitz

Michael Rakowitz’s (°1973) multidisciplinary practice engages the senses as a means of sparking discourse around pressing political, social and historical issues. His conceptual art is deeply political and often focuses on the Middle East, the region from where his family fled. An American artist of Iraqi- Jewish origin, Rakowitz is known for establishing unexpected connections between Iraqi history and Western culture. In doing so, he creates entirely new and composite narratives that involve the audience in a vibrant revival of the past.

I’m Good At Love, I’m Good At Hate, It’s In Between I Freeze

mixed media, script-fragments, olive green Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter

For CONTOUR 7, Michael Rakowitz presents a project in development that focuses on the figure of Leonard Cohen and the ethical dilemmas of the post-Holocaust Jew in relation to Israel and Palestine. The final work will include a film shot at the Chelsea Hotel, where Cohen was staying during the period in which he also travelled to Israel to perform for the Israeli troops. In Mechelen, Rakowitz presents props and fragments of a preliminary script for his film, derived from many of Cohen’s poems and diaries. All of these materials have been realized in a strictly analogue mode, using the exact same olive green Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter that Cohen used during this time period. I’m Good At Love, I’m Good At Hate, It’s In Between I Freeze – a quote from Cohen’s poem Recitation – will culminate in a concert performed by Rakowitz with local musicians at the Ramallah Cultural Palace in Palestine. There, Cohen was scheduled to perform in September 2009, days after his performance in Tel Aviv. The concert was cancelled as a result of the Cultural Boycott of Israel.