Thursday, February 8, 2018, 6:00pm
Center for Creative Photography, Room 108, University of Arizona
Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz’s para-SITE project (pictured above) is an ongoing series of custom-built
inflatable shelters designed for homeless people that attach to the exterior outtake vents of a building’s Heating,
Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. The warm air leaving the building simultaneously inflates and heats
the double membrane structure. The shelters were built and distributed to homeless people in Boston and
Cambridge, MA and New York City.
Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973, New York) is an artist living and working in Chicago. His work has appeared in venues
worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13), P.S.1, MoMA, MassMOCA, Castello di Rivoli, the 16th Biennale of Sydney, the
10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials, Sharjah Biennial 8, Tirana Biennale, National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt,
and Transmediale 05. He has had solo exhibitions at Tate Modern in London, Lombard Freid Gallery in New York,
Alberto Peola Arte Contemporanea in Torino, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago and Kunstraum Innsbruck. His public
project, Return, was presented by Creative Time in New York in 2006. He is the recipient of a 2012 Tiffany Foundation
Award; a 2008 Creative Capital Grant; a Sharjah Biennial Jury Award; a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts
Fellowship Grant in Architecture and Environmental Structures; the 2003 Dena Foundation Award, and the 2002
Design 21 Grand Prix from UNESCO. His work features in major private and public collections including the Museum
of Modern Art, New York; Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Smart Museum of
Art, Chicago; Van Abbemuseum, Endhoven, Netherlands; The British Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New
York; Kabul National Museum, Afghanistan; and UNESCO, Paris. His first US museum survey, titled Backstroke of the
West, opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in September 2017 and is on view until March 2018.
He has also been awarded the Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square which will be unveiled this
spring. Rakowitz is Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University.
The School of Art Visiting Artists and Scholars lecture series is made possible by the School of Art Advisory Board Visiting Artists and
Scholars Endowment, the School of Art, the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence, and the Center for Creative Photography.