Artist Forum: Wafaa Bilal

Summer 2015 International Artist-in-Residence, Wafaa Bilal, answers questions about his work, his life, and his time at Artpace.

Where are you from?

I am originally from Kufa, Iraq. It’s a quiet city that sits on the bank of the Euphrates River in the south of the country. It’s really well known for its intellectual community. Right now I’m living in New York City.

When did you start getting interested in art? Was there a defining moment you experienced that indicated art should be your chosen path?

I have always been interested in art and don’t think there was ever a time when I wasn’t. I became more serious about it as a teenager when I realized the power art could have to engage with people and spark dialogue. Around that time is when I decided to fully embrace it.

Give three words that describe Artpace to you.

Community, Dialogue, and Platform.

Tell us a little about your work.

Simply put, my work tends towards performative, durational projects that are non-didactic. My main objective is always to establish a platform for engagement and keep in mind that as an artist, I am only a trigger for dialogue. I try not to impose my views. The concept for the project determines the medium and not the other way around, so each project varies in presentation.

How do you find inspiration?

My context is the inspiration.