Publication

  • Rifat Chadirji: Architecture Photo Index
    Rifat Chadirji, Mark Wasiuta, and Akram Zaatari
    Authors
    Arab Image Foundation, 2017
  • GRANTEE
    Arab Image Foundation
    GRANT YEAR
    2016

Rifat Chadirji, 741 Signs and Advertisements, 10-78-143-8: Decoration for Tammuz month (July) celebrating the revolution and the birth of the Baath party, 1978. Courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation.

Rifat Chadirji: Architecture Photo Index provides unique insight into a collection of photographic sheets that reflect how an architect documented his own work, as well as coded, organized, and referenced his projects using photography. This publication looks at the sheets in question as raw material, presented here as documents of powerful expressive visuality. They show the range of projects that engaged Chadirji in Baghdad after his return in 1952, upon completing his studies in England, until his departure from Iraq in the early 1980s.

Rifat Chadijri is an architect and author. He cofounded the engineering and architectural firm Iraq Consult, where he served as president from 1952 to 1978. He is a major figure in one of the most important architectural schools in the Arab world, the Baghdad School of Architecture. Since 1983, he has dedicated himself to his writings; his publications, primarily in Arabic, include Concepts and Influence: Towards a Regionalized International Architecture, 1952–1978 (1986), Al-Ukhaidar and the Crystal Palace (1991), A Dialogue on the Structure of Art and Architecture (1995), and numerous articles in major Arabic periodicals. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects, and a recipient of the Chairman's Award/Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Chadijri has also been a visiting fellow at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning.

Mark Wasiuta is an architect, curator, and writer who teaches at Columbia University’s GSAPP. He is director of exhibitions, director of collecting architecture territories, and codirector of the MS degree program in critical, curatorial and conceptual practices in architecture. Wasiuta’s grants include those from the Graham Foundation, NYSCA, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. His recent exhibitions, curated and produced with various collaborators, include La Fine Del Mondo at the 14th International Architectural Exhibition at the Venice Biennale; Environmental Communications: Contact High, at the Chicago Architecture Biennial; and Information Fall-Out: Buckminster Fuller's World Game and Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation, both at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery. He is coeditor and coauthor of Dan Graham's New Jersey. His forthcoming projects include the exhibition Rio Control Syntax and the publications, Environments and Counter Environments: Experimental Media in Italy, the New Domestic Landscape, and Collecting Architecture Territories. He is partner in the design and research office, the International House of Architecture.

Akram Zaatari is a visual artist and filmmaker. He has produced more than forty videos, a dozen books, and countless installations of photographic material, all pursuing a range of interconnected themes, subjects, and practices related to excavation, political resistance, the lives of former militants, the legacy of an exhausted Left, the circulation of images in times of war, and the play of tenses inherent to various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations. As a cofounder of the Arab Image Foundation, a groundbreaking, artist-driven organization devoted to the research and study of photography in the region, he has made invaluable and uncompromising contributions to the wider discourse on preservation and archival practice. Zaatari's work has been featured at dOCUMENTA 13 (2012) and at the Venice Bienniale (2013).

The Arab Image Foundation (AIF) is a nonprofit organization established in Beirut in 1997. It is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and study of photography from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab Diaspora, and holds a collection of more than 600,000 photographs from the mid-nineteenth- century through today. The AIF acts as an open resource for research, as well as scholarly, artistic, and curatorial initiatives engaging in the study and critical inquiry of photography, and in practices at the intersection of preservation and art.