Walid Raad was born in 1967 in Chbanieh, Lebanon. After receiving his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1989, he completed his MA and Ph.D. in Cultural and Visual Studies at the University of Rochester in 1993 and 1996, respectively.
Working in such diverse media as photography, film and video, sculpture, installation and performance, Raad explores the representation of history and the imagery of political and social unrest. In 1999, he established The Atlas Group, a fictional foundation which aims to research, document, study and produce audio, visual and literary artifacts that shed light on the troubled recent history of Lebanon. Raad’s ongoing project titled Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World speaks to the recent emergence in the Arab world of a new infrastructure for the visual arts comprising arts festivals, workshops, fairs, biennales, museums, galleries, funds, schools, journals and collections, among others. These developments, when viewed alongside the geo-political, economic, social, and military conflicts that have consumed the region in the past few decades, form a rich and knotty ground for creative work.
He has participated in numerous international exhibitions including dOCUMENTA 11 (2002) and dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennials, the 2003 Venice Biennale, and the 2011 Sharjah Biennial. He has had one-person exhibitions at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2006), the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2009), the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2010) Museo Tamayo (2011), and Musée du Louvre (2013).
Raad's work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the Kunsthaus Zürich, the Centre Pompidou. He is the recipient of the 2011 Hasselblad Award and the 2007 Alpert Award. Since 2002, he has held the position of Associate Professor of Art at The Cooper Union, New York. Raad lives and works in New York City and Beirut, Lebanon.