|© Walid Raad|
With 'File Types' of Authored Documents, Found Documents and Documents Produced by the Atlas Group, we are introduced to text and visuals pertaining to car bombs, the intelligence officer who can't keep his eyes off the sunset, and Souheil Bachar, described on The Atlas Group site as, "...a Lebanese national who was kidnapped in Beirut in 1983 and was held hostage for ten years."
The Atlas Group is a clever use of fiction which ultimately illuminates more than just the recent history of Lebanon. It is also an insight into the people, the media, and the way that history has affected present day Lebanon - including the art of the country.
The Atlas Group seems to be of a similar spirit to the work of Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (featured on GMEP here) also born in Lebanon. Their work also uses fiction as fact as it it comments on the times of war in Lebanon.
What is interesting about both Raad and the Hadjithomas/Joreige team is that, though they are re-imagining Lebanon's history, they don't actually attempt to change anything except the supporting documentation. Through a blend of fact, fiction and semi-fiction, the artists take a different path, to get there, but the history remains the same.