Alia Farid « Between Dig and Display »

From Thursday, May 18, 2017 to Saturday, July 29, 2017.


The work of Alia Farid is a confluence experiences and landscapes that have shaped her perception, namely in relation to Kuwait and Puerto Rico and their respective positions vis-à-vis other territories. Her work is expressed through videos, spatial installations, drawings and other mediums.

For her first solo exhibition in Paris, Between Dig and Display, Alia Farid interprets a selection of documentation images found in the storage basement of the never completed Kuwait National Museum. The disparate images, a mixture of ancient and recent artifacts, demonstrate a society’s struggle to coherently articulate its own history: the severed head of a clay figurine, wooden sandals, pearl sieves, broken glass, potsherds, garments, a camel head trapping, date palms, the capital of a column and walls of a nearby excavated fort, to name but a few. In some of the images, neither site nor object is apparent. In others, a black and white rod set alongside unearthed matter provides viewers a sense of scale. Not far from the images, piles of plastic bags filled with fragments of previous civilizations lie in wait, unearthed and yet un-exposed. Stranded between archeological site and the museum, like a spirit caught between worlds, the images and objects residing in the basement of the Kuwait National Museum are less a record of the nation’s aspirations than evidence of its conflicting values. What is the meaning of display in an aniconic society? Seemingly disjointed, the objects in this exhibition assemble a precarious universe that oscillates between record and invention.

Alia Farid

Video/ Installation
Born in Kuwait, 1985. Lives and works in Kuwait and Puerto Rico.

Alia Farid (b. 1985) works at the intersection of art and architecture. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from La Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico (Viejo San Juan), a Master of Science in Visual Studies from the Visual Arts Program at MIT (Cambridge, MA), and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Critical Theory from the Programa d’Estudis Independents at MACBA (Barcelona).

I began making work somewhere in between art, architecture, and urban anthropology. Today I’m still interested in these areas, but with a much more focused point in telling how informal networks are forced to make up for lack of formal structure, as one of the things I value most is the subversive quality of work that goes unnoticed.

Between Dig and Display exhibition viewCourtesy of the artist and Imane Farès gallery