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2006.078a-j_003_part b

The Atlas Group / Walid Raad | Already been in a lake of fire 1999-2002 | Digital colour print on paper, ed. 3/7 | Ten sheets: 29.5 x 41.5cm | Purchased 2006. The Queensland Government's Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund

The Atlas Group ‘Already been in a lake of fire’ 1999-2002

The Atlas Group is a project established by Walid Raad in 1999 with the stated aim of researching and documenting the contemporary history of Lebanon. The Atlas Group collects and presents what appear to be factual photographic, textual and video documentation relating to the contemporary history of Lebanon. Already been in a lake of fire 1999-2002 comprises nine plates which purport to reproduce selected pages from a notebook once belonging to Dr Fadl Fakhouri. The apocryphal Fakhouri is asserted to be one Lebanon’s most renowned historians up until his death in 1993 – at which time he bequeathed hundreds of documents to The Atlas Group for preservation and display. The documentary nature of the work’s content contrasts with its aestheticised presentation – ultimately leading the viewer to question the validity of the information being presented. By extension, the project examines broader issues of authorship, legitimacy and authenticity in relation to the writing of history and media reportage.

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