Alia Farid, Elsewhere: El Nilo Restaurante (Menú II), 2023. Courtesy the artist
Alia Farid: Bneid Al Gar
Sep 13, 2024 – Jan 5, 2025
Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Høvikodden, Norway

Alia Farid: Bneid Al Gar is her largest solo exhibition to date and it showcases four crucial works from the artist’s career alongside new works on paper. Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist Alia Farid (b. 1985) works with a range of media including textile, drawing, film, and sculpture to make visible the registers of narratives, stories, and ways of knowing omitted by western hegemony.The exhibition title Bneid Al Gar, Arabic for land of tar, refers to Farid’s experiences growing up in an area of Kuwait where large bruise-like stains of oil once punctuated the surface of the earth. Alia Farid’s complex work mediates between the past and the present and, in a poetic processing, draws out omitted histories that push against standard narratives. She explores questions of conflict and control and how power and violence are inflicted on nature and people.

The exhibition Alia Farid: Bneid Al Gar presents a series of handwoven and embroidered textile works from the series Elsewhere (2023), where Farid explores the styles, symbols, and rituals that emerge from processes of migration from one point of the global south to another. The motifs highlighted in the tapestries are culled from photographs, archival material, and conversations with members of the Palestinian diaspora in Puerto Rico. The textiles are created in close collaboration with weavers in southern Iraq, highlighting new meanings, forms, and expressions of shared struggle and solidarity.

Five sculptures from the series In Lieu of What Is (2022) and the installation Palm Orchard (2022) will also be on display at Henie Onstad. In In Lieu of What Is, Farid interrogates the material, political, and cultural aftereffects of the oil industries extractive practices. The large sculptures, inspired by public drinking fountains in the Arabian Gulf, trace connections to natural bodies of water and how they continue to be impacted by desalination plants. Palm Orchard, exhibited in the outdoor area of the museum, consists of artificial palm trees rendered in plastic and LED lights. Together with her films Chibayish 2022, 2023, these works highlight how ecosystems are targeted as a tactic of war and the loss of intergenerational knowledge that results from environmental degradation.

Alia Farid: Bneid Al Gar
Sep 13, 2024 – Jan 5, 2025
Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Hovikodden, Norway

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