Madrid, Spain,
14:00 PM

Walid Raad: Cotton Under My Feet, Opening October 6, 2021 at The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

Walkthrough Performance_ Two Drops per Heartbeat. Walid Raad. Cotton Under My Feet

The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) present Cotton Under My Feet, a solo exhibition of new work and performative walkthroughs by U.S.-Lebanese artist Walid Raad. Commissioned by TBA21 and specifically conceived for the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, the exhibition presents work created during Raad’s three-year exploration of the Museum’s collection, archives, and genesis, resulting in museum-wide interpretive spaces that mobilize stories and premonitions around the collection. Raad presents imagined and hidden episodes, tangled connections, and alternative conservation protocols in his exploration of various historical collective realities surrounding the acquisition of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection by the Spanish State. The result is a non-linear narrative body of work that incorporates installation, performance, photography, and video throughout the museum’s galleries. Part of a multi-year collaboration between the Museum and TBA21, Cotton Under My Feet is curated by Daniela Zyman and will be on view 6 October 2021–23 January 2022.  

The commissioned works conceptually connect to Raad’s existing practice, which is rooted in historical fiction and traces how violent events are lived, experienced, visualised and narrated. Through this lens, the exhibition—which coincides with the centennial of the collection’s architect, Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza—unearths the founder’s legacy through an examination of various odd artefacts that Raad found or imagines in the Museum’s collection. What unfolds are images and stories around historical events and conditions concerning the sale, transfer, display, and storage of the artworks within the Museum’s collection. The exhibition and walkthroughs expose the visitor to a multitude of artworks and stories on the origins and futures of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and other large Western and non-Western art collections in the world.  

For more visitor and ticketing information, visit  

Two Drops Per Heartbeat 


  • Period I: 6-10 October; 13-16 October 2021 
  • Period II: 14 November; 16-20 November 2021 
  • Period III: 9-12 December; 14-17 December 2021
  • Period IV: 13-16 January; 18-22 January 2022

Two performances per day, 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. 

Further dates will be announced. Walkthroughs are held in English with Spanish translation.  

Reservations via Eventbrite 

Join TBA21 and Walid Raad on a 70-minute performative walkthrough of the exhibition Walid Raad: Cotton Under My Feet at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. In the form of a guided tour, the artist will bring to light a three-year creative journey, resulting in a dizzying reflection on the potential legacy of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and its links to Western and non-Western art history. 

About Walid Raad  

Walid Raad (b. 1967, Chbaniyeh, Lebanon) works across installation, performance, video and photography to explore how historical events of physical and psychological violence affect bodies, minds and culture. He is well known for The Atlas Group (1989-2004), a 15-year project about the contemporary history of Lebanon. Raad’s work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including Documenta 11 and 13, the 14th Istanbul Biennial, the first Vienna Biennale, the 31st São Paulo Bienal, and the 50th Venice Biennale. He has had one-person exhibitions at the TBA21, Vienna; Louvre Museum, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Carré d’Art, Nîmes. His 2015 survey exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and Museo Jumex in Mexico City. His work is in the collections of the Tate Modern, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others.