Walid Raad, Let's Be Honest, the Weather Helped
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Feb 15 - May 10
Opening this weekend in Stockholm at Moderna Museet is Walid Raad's 'Let's Be Honest, the Weather Helped' which sees the tie-in of a 75 minutes walkthrough/performance. I'm going to give it to the museum and say that this strikes me as one the more, to me eager, exhibitions hosted there in five-seven years or so. There was Akraam Zaatari in 2015 and Tala Madani and some other ones but this definitely hits a mark. Participating in the press view, I found the performance to be, you could say, a 5x-longer TED talk of the most ingenious kind; a brainer and crowdpleaser in equal force. Think a disruptive narration weighing on a few storylines that gradually come full circle. In the midst there is that of the Cooper Union art school on the LES in NYC where Walid Raad teaches and which school school saw a massive occupation by students to fight against the transition of going from free tuition to 20K per academic year, with the students ending up winning a major lawsuit. There is also the mystery and little-known notion of artworks "trading faces" in the rise of transformative works, while in transportation between Louvre Paris to Louvre in Abu Dhabi. All the while the mindboggling financial and capitalist realities that make part of the global art ecosystem are treated, directly and largely as well between the lines, Walid Raad's command is equipped with subtle comedic punch that sometimes borderlines that of a standup comedian. All good (I mean that, no sarcasm or snark), and as the last note is delivered, and as the jist of how the world is one big ground of uncanny and near-cosmic interconnections is being reinforced, it will all have played out to great satisfaction. I take a look at the considerably sparse exhibition room and display (feels refreshing) and look at the impresive scenographies that support the various narratives and realize this will have been the rare feat of a theatrical spectacle at the museum. One ”actor” and a "stage" which is not nearly utillizied enough for participatory experiences like this. I'm loving the feeling of relative and..."considerable" novelty in the moment.