Data journalist, illustrator, and writer Mona Chalabi presents a large-scale, site-specific exhibition on CAM’s Project Wall. Chalabi’s work is informed by statistics gathered on politics, human rights, demographics, covid infections, climate change, and many other topics—finding truth in numbers through her journalism, and making that truth easier to digest through her illustrations. As the artist puts it, “My job is to take a story and to zoom out and provide context for readers. And the thing that excites me about data is the scale of it. Data gives you a new frame of understanding.” For her exhibition at CAM, Chalabi focuses on endangered species of plants and animals, some of which are so close to extinction that every remaining member can fit on a New York subway car (if they squeeze).
Mona Chalabi (b. London, 1987; lives and works in London) has published work in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, New York Magazine, The Guardian and many more. She has written for radio and TV including NPR, Gimlet, Netflix (The Fix), BBC (Is Britain Racist? Radio 4 and The Frankie Boyle Show), and National Geographic (Star Talk). As an illustrator Chalabi’s work has been commended by the Royal Statistical Society and has been exhibited at several galleries including the Tate, The Design Museum, and the House of Illustration. As a producer and presenter she is one half of the team that created the Emmy-nominated video series Vagina Dispatches. And she presented and produced the audio experiment Strange Bird. Before she became a journalist, Chalabi worked with large data sets in jobs at the Bank of England, Transparency International, and the International Organization for Migration. She studied International Relations in Paris and studied Arabic in Jordan.
Mona Chalabi: Squeeze is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator.