9/27/19 - 4/19/20

Michael Rakowitz

Lisa Dorin

WCMA’s 1935 Gallery is transformed into the precise architectural layout of Room Z of King Ashurnasirpal II’s 9th century BCE palace, appearing as it stood since its 1854 excavation by British archaeologists until its destruction by ISIS in 2015. Working with a team of assistants, artist Michael Rakowitz reconstructed in 1:1 scale seven of the 13 monumental limestone reliefs that once lined the palace walls using contemporary Middle Eastern newspapers and packaging from northern Iraqi foods. The invisible enemy should not exist (Room Z, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) engages with the college’s complicated history of collecting, including a Williams alumnus’ acquisition of the two Assyrian reliefs now in the museum’s collection, posing urgent questions about where and to whom objects of cultural heritage belong. 

Please view our accompanying publication:

Rakowitz Booklet