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December 2019, English
12×18 cm, 160 pages, b/w and color ill., softcover
ISBN 978-3-95679-476-6
Daly & Lyon

Michael Rakowitz’s I’m good at love, I’m good at hate, it’s in between I freeze charts the historical context and aftermath of a concert that never happened. In 2009, the inimitable Leonard Cohen was scheduled to perform at the Ramallah Cultural Palace in Palestine. As a result of the cultural boycott of Israel, the concert was canceled but the story, as Rakowitz’s eponymous work amply demonstrates, did not end there. Conjoining the cultural histories of Palestine and Israel and the ethical dilemmas faced by performers and artists alike in the face of political intransigence, this volume brings to light the research that went into this multi-faceted work and plots the future arc of its yet-to-be completed trajectory.

Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973, New York) is an artist living and working in Chicago. His work has appeared in venues worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13), MoMA PS1 and MoMA, Castello di Rivoli, the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials, Tirana Biennale, and the National Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt. He has had solo exhibitions at Tate Modern in London and Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin. He is the recipient of the 2018 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (Visual Arts category), a 2008 Creative Capital Grant, and awarded the Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square which was unveiled in the spring of 2018. His first US museum survey, titled Backstroke of the West, opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in September 2017. A traveling survey of his work will be shown at Whitechapel Gallery in London and Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Torino in 2019. Rakowitz is Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University.

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is currently a Co-investigator on AHRC and GCRF–funded research projects that focus on cultural practices, education, and digital methodologies in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. He sits on the editorial boards of Third Text and Digital War, respectively, and is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press, 2019–ongoing).


“Leonard Cohen’s songs had found their way in our lives, transcending all differences and divisions. Yet to be caught in the quagmire of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict leaves us with an unpleasant aftertaste. Michael Rakowitz’s I’m good at love, I’m good at hate, it’s in between I freeze takes us through a significant moment in this history, proposing an alternative ending to Cohen’s take on the relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

— Jack Persekian, Director Al Ma’mal Jerusalem

“More and more, artists are seizing upon or producing archives as a way of speculating on knowledge.  Such projects can be particularly difficult to grasp because of the complexity and breadth of their constituents. The Research/Practice
series comes at just the right time to assist in critically exploring the terms and stakes of artistic research by addressing some of its most important practitioners in sustained, but accessible accounts, including a rich array of primary sources.”

— Professor David Joselit, Art, Film, and Visual Studies, Harvard University

“With the discourse on research-based practices in contemporary art having reached a point of saturation lately, this new series—focusing on a specific work or process selected from the respective artist’s practice—seems like a fresh start. The emphasis on artist-researchers working from non-Western positions and interests makes for particularly revealing, non-canonical insights. The combination of essays, documentation and interviews, moreover, results in fascinating methodological encounters, as the research practices of the various contributors productively impact on one another.”

— Tom Holert, writer and curator, Harun Farocki Institut, Berlin