Wafaa BilalIraq/USAVisual Arts2015
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Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal is renowned for provoking dialogue about international politics and internal dynamics through high profile, technologically-driven art projects that employ the use of robotics, the internet, and photographic mobile mapping. For his 2007 installation, Domestic Tension, Bilal spent a month in a Chicago gallery with a paintball gun that people could shoot at him over the internet. Bilal’s work is constantly informed by the experience of fleeing his homeland and existing simultaneously in two worlds – his home in the “comfort zone” of the U.S. and his consciousness of the “conflict zone” in Iraq. Using his own body as a medium, Bilal continues to challenge our comfort zone with projects like 3rdi and and Counting.... In 2008 City Lights published “Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun,” about Bilal’s life and the Domestic Tension project. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar; amongst others. He holds a BFA from the University of New Mexico and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently an Associate Arts Professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.