Unboxing Wafaa Bilal’s ‘168:01’

In 2003, looters burned the library at the College of Arts at the University of Baghdad. 70,000 texts were lost. Wafaa Bilal put together ‘168hrs. 01sec’ to memorialize the cultural and historical losses in Iraq, symbolized by the installation of a library of blank, white books at the Art Gallery of Windsor, ON earlier this year. I contributed some money via Kickstarter, and during/after the exhibition, brother Wafaa replaced one of the white books with an text that was later sent to the College of Fine Arts to help rebuild their library. I’m honored to help my brothers and sisters in Iraq in this limited and symbolic way.

Wafaa Bilal is a performance and installation artist, and Associate Arts Professor at the Tisch School. His Canto III was in the 2015 Armory Show and the Venice Biennale, and his works can be found in museums around the world.

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