Artist Faheem Majeed (American, b. 1976) is a builder—literally and metaphorically. For his first solo museum exhibition, he questions how space becomes place, and, further, how places can foster a sense of home and belonging. The MCA—a public institution and, by extension, a type of public space—becomes the armature for the artist’s investigation.
A resident of South Shore Chicago, Majeed draws upon the material makeup of his neighborhood and surrounding areas as an entry point into questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional racism. As part of his studio practice, the artist transforms materials such as particleboard, scrap metal, wood, discarded signs, and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials. His broader engagement with the arts also involves arts administration, curation, and community facilitation, all of which feed into his larger practice.
In addition to presenting sculptural works and a room-sized installation, Majeed invites collaborators to activate the space through events and performances (see Related Events at top right). In this way, the exhibition presents a plurality of voices, cultural perspectives, and art-making strategies that develop and expand organically, accumulating and metabolizing different materials and visitors’ experiences. Even if only temporarily, the exhibition becomes a microcosm of the greater work the artist is doing, while also alluding and drawing attention to the work still to be done.
To extend the exhibition’s reach, the MCA is partnering with the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago, which hosts an exhibition curated by MCA Teen Creative Agency alumni Kara Franco and Lamar Gayles. Initiated by Majeed, this will be the first curatorial opportunity for Franco and Gayles to explore notions of place-making and activism in the context of SSCAC. The exhibition opens in May of 2015.
BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Faheem Majeed is organized by Curatorial Assistant Steven L. Bridges
Major support for BMO Harris Banks Chicago Works: Faheem Majeed is provided by BMO Harris Bank.
Additional generous support is provided by the Sandra and Jack Guthman Chicago Works Exhibition Fund.