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Wafaa Bilal Lecture & Panel
In conjunction with the opening of Wafaa Bilal’s solo exhibition in the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, the Iraqi American artist will discuss the ideas and themes in his recent project, Canto III, which explores the intersections of public monuments, art, engineering, and space exploration. Bilal will be joined by Gallery Director Alena Sauzade, Andrew Blanton, Professor of Digital Media Art, SJSU, and Nada Shabout, Professor of Art History, University of North Texas.

Wafaa Bilal is known internationally for his on-line performative and interactive works provoking dialogue about international and interpersonal politics. Bilal’s work explores tensions between the cultural spaces he occupies —his home in the comfort zone of the U.S. and his consciousness in the conflict zone in Iraq. For his 2007 installation, Domestic Tension, Bilal spent a month in FlatFile Galleries where people could shoot him via a remote-access paintball gun. The Chicago Tribune called it “one of the sharpest works of political art to be seen in a long time”—naming him 2008 Artist of the Year. That year, City Lights published Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun about Bilal’s life and Domestic Tension. Using his own body as a medium, Bilal continued to challenge the public’s comfort zone with projects like 3rdi and and Counting…. Bilal’s work, Canto III, was included as part of the Iranian pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Bilal’s current work 168:01 brings awareness to cultural destruction and promotes the collective healing process through education and audience participation.
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An acclaimed weekly lecture series brings in artists, designers, and critical theorists from around the world, broadening the students’ experiential base and complementing local offerings. All lectures and exhibitions are open to the general public free of charge.

For more info, visit sjsu.edu/thompsongallery

Apr 6, 2021 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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