Farah Al Qasimi

Everywhere there is splendor

Farah Al Qasimi creates a newly commissioned, photo-based installation across CAM’s Project Wall, her largest site-specific museum work to date. Al Qasimi has long documented and created alternative narratives of Arab culture, style, taste, and interior spaces. For her CAM exhibition she focuses on her personal family history through a lens of intimacy and interiority. In early 2021, during Al Qasimi’s time in quarantine after traveling to the United Arab Emirates, she photographed in and around her family home, referencing an old family album documenting their westward migration. She re-examined the significance of a personal archive, using the ubiquitous floral tablecloths, garments, wallpaper, and interior decor of her childhood. Reflecting on the past year and the uncertainty of the future, Al Qasimi found it ever more urgent to deepen her connection with her family’s past through these images, expanding on notions of cultural hybridity—living between multiple cultures—as well as ideas around labor and means of production in relation to her family history.

View Al Qasimi’s 2020 video General Behavior, commissioned by Bidoun, here.

Farah Al Qasimi: Everywhere there is splendor is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator.

Farah Al Qasimi (b. 1991, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; lives and works in Brooklyn and Dubai) works in photography, video, and performance. Her recent commission with Public Art Fund, Back and Forth Disco, was on view at 100 bus shelters in New York City in 2019–20. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai; San Francisco Arts Commission; 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; Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and the Houston Center for Photography. She has participated in residencies at the Delfina Foundation, London; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and is a recipient of the New York NADA Artadia Prize; Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship; and this year’s Capricious Photo Award. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography, Amsterdam. Al Qasimi received her MFA from the Yale School of Art.


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