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Michael Rakowitz in conversation with Artnet

 Activation of Michael Rakowitz’s   Enemy Kitchen   (2012–ongoing), with the artist at left, on the MCA’s plaza, October 1, 2017. Photo by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Activation of Michael Rakowitz’s Enemy Kitchen (2012–ongoing), with the artist at left, on the MCA’s plaza, October 1, 2017. Photo by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago this past fall may have stumbled upon a food truck where American veterans of the Iraq War served traditional Iraqi food. Enemy Kitchen (ongoing since 2003) is part of “Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West,” which surveys 20 years of the Chicago artist’s work.

Enemy Kitchen is a public art project by Michael Rakowitz that explores the relationship between hospitality and hostility. Rakowitz and his mother collected and compiled recipes from the Baghdad area. These recipes are turned into dishes which are served by U.S. veterans of the Iraq War from a food truck designed by the artist.  

Backstroke of the West is on view at MCA through March 4, 2018.