15 September – 14 November 2004

The Atlas Group, the fictional entity through which Lebanese artist Walid Raad operates, is an on-going project devoted to researching and documenting the contemporary history of Lebanon. This documentation, which includes notebooks, films, videotapes, and photographs, is organized into archives that are situated between the false binary of fiction and non-fiction; some of the archived documents are real and others invented. The exhibition, split between two sites and framed by one lecture, exposes the two faces of the project.

The most comprehensive and multifaceted presentation of the work of The Atlas Group and Walid Raad opens at Art Gallery of York University on 15 September, 2004 and is followed by a series of exhibitions and performances at various locations in the city of Toronto: Prefix Institute for Contemporary Art; Vtape; University of Toronto, Colloquium on Visual Culture; Ryerson University Kodak Lecture Series.

Displayed at AGYU from 15 September - 14 November 2004, I Was Overcome By A Momentary Panic At The Thought That They Might Be Right: Documents From The Nassar Files in The Atlas Group Archive is part of The Atlas Group's ambitious project that documents the use of the car bomb in the Lebanese wars of 1975-1991. Used by militias across the political spectrum, the car bomb, beyond functioning as a weapon, is seen as a technology, an event, and most significantly a discourse that has determined, and continues to affect, all aspects of public life in Lebanon during the past thirty years, right up to the present moment.

The Truth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is Dead: Documents from The Fakhouri File in The Atlas Group Archive collects the archival documents attributed to the fictitious Lebanese historian Dr. Fadl Fakhouri and will be exhibited for the first time in Toronto from 16 September - 27 November 2004 at Prefix ICA (401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124 Toronto).

The exhibitions at AGYU and Prefix ICA were made possible by the generous financial support of Salah Bachir.

Vtape Salon
In conjunction with the AGYU exhibitions, Vtape presents a series of film and video works chosen by The Atlas Group and Walid Raad that address memory and its often imperfect record. The programme, featuring Gene Gort, Whirl Without End (1996), Peter Greenaway, Windows (1975), Vlatka Horvat, Out on a Limb (2002), Julia Meltzer and David Thorn, It's not my memory of it (2003), Jay Rosenblatt, Human Remains (1998), Anri Sala, Intervista (1998), Lisa Steele, Birthday Suit - with scars and defects (1974), will open with a public reception on Saturday, 16 October, 2-5 pm and will continue until 26 November 2004 in the Vtape Salon. Vtape is open to the public Tuesday-Friday 11-5pm and Saturday from 12-4 pm and is located at 401 Richmond St. W Suite 452, Toronto.

Walid Raad also presented a performance/lecture on The Atlas Group in Ryerson University's Kodak Lecture Series, School of Image Arts on November 26.

Public programmes for The Atlas Group and Walid Raad included a panel discussion on 30 September, 2004, 3 pm at the AGYU featuring visual artist and activist Jamelie Hassan, PHD Candidate at Brown University Tess Takahashi, and Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science at Universite de Montreal Marie Joelle Zahar. Panelists will consider Walid Raad's examination of the Lebanese Civil War and reflect upon the ways in which individual and collective narratives filter into official histories.

For a brush with the French underground, visit room # 208 at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street W.) from 30 September - 4 October, 2004 where the AGYU will present the Canadian premiere of work by the independent, and irreverent, publishing house Le Dernier Cri. Emerging in 1993 from the rich "underground zine" movement in France, Le Dernier Cri has grown to include a network of international artists that create experimental and transgressive images in poster, print, comic book, and film format. The AGYU is proud to be a primary sponsor of the first annual Toronto Alternative Art Fair International.

Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]