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Public Art Fund Talks: Farah Al Qasimi

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Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

41 Cooper Square, 41 Cooper Sq

New York, NY 10008

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Farah Al Qasimi, who lives and works in Brooklyn and Dubai, is an artist whose practice includes photography, video, and performance. Best known for the rich textures and colors of her photographs, Al Qasimi’s distinct approach to portraiture challenges traditional notions of figuration by utilizing elements of camouflage, concealment, and revelation. Instead, her subjects’ individuality is expressed through personal adornment – clothing, hairstyles, and poses – that reflect their personalities.

On February 20, the artist will give a public talk at The Cooper Union’s Frederick P. Rose Auditorium to accompany her first institutional solo show in New York City, Back and Forth Disco, presented by Public Art Fund on 100 JCDecaux bus shelter across all five boroughs. For this exhibition, Al Qasimi has created a new suite of 17 photographs that isolate and highlight the beauty of ephemeral moments amidst the city’s visual and audible noise. Al Qasimi has taken New York City as her subject, focusing primarily on immigrant neighborhoods that resonate with her own experience, and photographing local communities where small businesses thrive. The artist’s talk will offer insight into the process of creating this new body of work and the significance of presenting it in public space.

About the Artist

Farah Al Qasimi (b.1991, United Arab Emirates) works in photography, video, and performance. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai; the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco; the CCS Bard Galleries at the Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Helena Anrather, New York; The Third Line, Dubai; The List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cambridge; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and the Houston Center for Photography, Houston. Al Qasimi received her MFA from the Yale School of Art. She has participated in residencies at the Delfina Foundation, London; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and is a recipient of the New York NADA Artadia Prize and the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and NYU's Grey Art Gallery, New York.


About the Talks

Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.

Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union

Public Art Fund Talks are made possible in part by Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

image:


Farah Al Qasimi
Woman on Phone, 2019
Photographic work as a part of Back and Forth Disco, presented by Public Art Fund on 100 JCDecaux bus shelters citywide, January 29 – May 17, 2020.
Courtesy the artist; Helena Anrather, New York; and The Third Line, Dubai.

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Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

41 Cooper Square, 41 Cooper Sq

New York, NY 10008

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