News — 1 Oct 2020

AICA Nederland, the association of Dutch art critics, today announced that the exhibition 'Walid Raad – Let’s Be Honest, The Weather Helped', held at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam from May to October last year, has been nominated for the AICA Award.

In Let’s Be Honest, The Weather Helped the Lebanese-American artist Walid Raad (1967) delivered a perceptive, critical, politically engaged, and often playful critique of the complexities of the Lebanese Civil War (1975 -1991) and the boom of contemporary art in the Middle East. Raad also gave several sell-out performances during the exhibition, and an artist’s book was published to coincide with the show. The artist also trained museum staff to chat with visitors to the exhibition, and discuss with them the themes that underpin his work.

About the exhibition, the jury of the AICA Prize, consisting of Steven Aalders, Machteld Leij and Sophia Zürcher, notes: "The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam must be commended for devoting seven rooms to this playful storyteller’s first solo in the Netherlands. In every gallery, Walid Raad sowed uncertainty, causing you to question the veracity of what you saw and read. In the end, he left you dangling, unable to decide whether the exhibition was witty or disturbing. Even a year later, like a gaping hole, this baffling uncertainty opens up new insights."

Installation view ‘Walid Raad – ‘Let’s be honest, the weather helped’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2019, Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.
Installation view ‘Walid Raad – ‘Let’s be honest, the weather helped’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2019, Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.

The AICA Award is presented yearly, and is awarded alternately to an exhibition, a publication or an arts organisation. In recent years, the award has been presented to the Stedelijk twice: in 2017 for the year-long survey of Tino Sehgal and in 2008 for the large-scale survey on Andy Warhol.

The other nominated exhibitions for this edition are Rana Hamadeh, 'The Ten Murders of Josephine' in Witte de With, Rotterdam (2017) and Edgar Fernhout, 'Light in colour' in Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen (2019). Members of AICA Netherlands have until 1 November to cast their votes and the results will be announced later that month. The award ceremony will take place in the spring of 2021.

Installation view ‘Walid Raad – ‘Let’s be honest, the weather helped’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2019, Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.
Installation view ‘Walid Raad – ‘Let’s be honest, the weather helped’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2019, Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.