Alia Farid, Solo Exhibition
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Sunday 19 January — Sunday 19 April 2020
Curator: Rosa de Graaf
Alia Farid’s (SMVisS ’08) work explores contemporary urban life against the backdrop of colonial histories in Kuwait and Puerto Rico, where the artist lives and works. Farid has especially explored the correlations between the shaping of environment and perception. Her work has dealt with social displacement and migration, national identity and self-representation, as well as the enduring legacy and impact of Western imperialism. Farid interprets her research-based artistic practice through drawings, installations, public interventions, and, most recently, film.
Farid’s most recent artistic research centers on communities who, in one way or another, actively resist the assimilation of modern culture. This she draws out and articulates through various micro-narratives and actions enmeshed in daily life. Her subjects are located in the Global South, a descriptor the artist purposefully employs to both locate and complicate the degrees of separation between the Caribbean and the Middle East—the two regions where Farid grew-up, and which inspire much of her work.
Her exhibition at Witte de With presents a newly commissioned film installation, along with her earlier film At the Time of the Ebb, 2019. Her new work is shot in Haiti, and centers on the after-effects of the country’s historic revolution. Her earlier film was also shot on an island, in Qeshm, Iran; it is a melancholic meandering through the local rituals of Nowruz Sayadeen (Fisherman’s New Year). In both films, Farid delves into how group rituals, social ruptures, and individual acts of resistance may admit, escape, alter or reject definition.
The artist’s new work is commissioned by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in partnership with The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada, and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, United States. This is the artist’s first exhibition in the Netherlands.