WAFAA BILAL (Najaf and New York)

Vocalization in خ

> Watch Video Recording of Suzie Afridi performance of Day 2

Aiming to aestheticize the socio-political climate of the Arab world through a special musical performance with audio samples, ranging from Middle Eastern hip-hop to political speeches, and spoken word, Bilal reflects the current political map of the region through the rhythm of Arabic letters. Acting as DJ, he builds on this composition with improvised sound bytes, vocalizations and live instruments.

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Wafaa Bilal and Suzie Afridi during discussion Session 3 of Day 1; bottom left: Suzie Afridi (Wafaa Bilal), Vocalization in خ, Stand up performance, FIELD MEETING: Thinking Practice, November 11, 2016 at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Bottom right: Wafaa Bilal introduces Suzie Afridi on Day 1. Photo: Renata Carciofolo.


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 him with 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. Often using his own body as a medium, Bilal continues to challenge our comfort zones with projects like 3rdi, and Counting…, The Things I Could Tell, and his most recent participatory installation, 168:01. He is currently an Associate Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Wafaa Bilal, The Things I Could Tell…, installation, 2015. Copyright Wafaa Bilal. Courtesy Artpace and Driscoll Babcock Galleries.