Friday, Jul 19, 5-9 PM

Friday Nights at NOMA: Artist’s Perspective with Wafaa Bilal

New Orleans Museum of Art
Getting there
1 Collins Diboll Circle, New Orleans, LA

Friday Nights at NOMA features an exciting lineup of programs in 2019: live music, movies, children’s activities, and more. Regular admission prices apply—NOMA members are FREE—but there is no extra charge for programs or films. All galleries, the Museum Shop, and Café NOMA remain open till 9 pm. 5 – 8 pm: Art on the Spot drop-in activity table 6:30 pm: Artist’s Perspective Gallery Talk with Wafaa Bilal ABOUT WAFAA BILAL During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad lost their entire library due to looters who set fire to the collection. More than 70,000 books were destroyed. Over thirteen years later, few books remain for the students to read and study. In 168:01, Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal presents an austere white library that is both a monument to the staggering cultural losses endured throughout Iraq’s history, and a platform for its potential rebirth. Comprised of a series of white shelves filled with blank tomes, Bilal’s library doubles as a system of exchange that connects museum visitors directly to Iraq. Aimed at restoring the library’s lost archives, 168:01 positions viewers as potential donors whose contributions fund educational texts from a reading list compiled by faculty members at the University of Baghdad. As book donations accrue, the bookshelf becomes saturated with knowledge and filled with color as the white library is slowly replaced with books from this faculty wish list. In exchange for their contribution, donors receive the blank tomes. At the end of the exhibition, all donated books are to be shipped to the College of Fine Arts, to help begin the process of rebuilding. Also on view are images from Bilal’s The Ashes Series, photographs of a set of miniature handmade replicas of environments destroyed during the Iraq War. Each of these three-dimensional models references a specific journalistic photograph of war-torn Iraq that was circulated in newspapers, magazines, and on the internet in the wake of conflict. Image credit: Wafaa Bilal, The Ashes Series: Piano, 2003–2013, Archival inkjet photograph, 40 x 50 in., Image courtesy of the artist © Wafaa Bilal Friday Nights at NOMA is supported in part by grant funds from the Azby Fund; Ruby K. Worner Charitable Trust; New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation; and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council.