Wafaa Bilal

Born Jun 10, 1966

Dr. Wafaa Bilal is an Iraqi American artist, a former professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently an art professor at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He is a Creative Capital Award winner in 2021 for his project In a Grain of Wheat: Cultivating Hybrid Futures in Ancient Seed DNA and named one of Foreign Policy magazine's Leading 100 Global Thinkers in 2016 for his work as an advocate. Bilal’s work, Canto III, was included as part of the Iranian pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Bilal’s current work 168:01 brings awareness to cultural destruction and promotes the collective healing process through education and audience participation. He is best known for his work, Domestic Tension, a performance piece in which he lived in a gallery for a month and was shot by paintballs remotely by internet users watching from a webcam and for his book, Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life, and Resistance under the Gun, based on that performance, which details the horrors of living in a conflict zone and growing up under Saddam Hussein's regime.
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