With a practice that is often associated with historical fiction, Walid Raad has created this new project around the genesis of the Museo Thyssen, its collection, archives, and the histories of their holdings. Intervening in various sites in the museum, the exhibition will open new interpretative spaces for mobilizing stories and premonitions around the collection. The artist presents imagined and hidden episodes, tangled connections, alternative conservation protocols, involving insects and nails, and forgotten figures and characters that appear in the museum’s rooms throughout its journey through the history of Western art.
In “Cotton Under My Feet“, Raad explores different approaches and representations to historical collective realities surrounding the acquisition of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection by the Spanish State. The exhibition unfolds as an imagined investigation around the historical events and conditions that concerned the sale, transfer, display, and storage of the artworks. “Cotton Under My Feet” becomes an exploration of several narratives, which expose to the visitor a broad range of images and narratives on the origins and futures of the collection Thyssen-Bornemisza and other large western and non-western art collections in the world.