Sep 15–Nov 4, 2018

Shadi Habib AllahPut to Rights

Shadi Habib Allah, 5081 35, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

  • Shadi Habib Allah, 5081 35, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

  • Please join us on Saturday, September 15, 5-8pm for the opening reception and artist talk. Read more.

    Shadi Habib Allah is a New York and Miami-based Palestinian artist who works across film, sculpture, and installation, often drawing on a process of deep research and on-the-ground engagement in specific locales. Richly varied in form and focus, his projects run the gamut from reimagining a ghost story from 1930s Jerusalem to traveling along illicit trade routes with Bedouin smugglers.

    At the Renaissance Society, Habib Allah presents a body of work that has grown out of his ongoing immersion in the communities of Miami’s Liberty City. In this neighborhood marked by deep racial and economic inequity, the artist locates active economies of goods and services that exist independently of, and at times elude or exploit, state-sanctioned systems such as welfare and property zoning.

    Two new works point to the transformation of the ubiquitous corner grocery stores in the face of government policies: where they once flourished as one of the only local options to buy food, their primary exchanges have shifted to gambling and illegal food stamp transactions. 70 Days Behind Inventory relocates the flooring from one of these sites into the space of the gallery, while a series of photographs, Dropping the 10th Digit, captures details of the hand-written receipts tracking customers’ records of debts and food stamp exchange for cash. Presented alongside these, previous works The King and the Jester and S/N: 8F1GNA0021 trace other systems of clandestine circulation and slippery subcultures.

    Uniting Habib Allah’s works is a distinctively ambiguous approach to his subject matter, tempering a deliberate and critical distance with a sympathetic, almost intimate tone. His projects are not documentary, per se—he takes an artist’s license in combining scripted and observational moments, and in non-linear edits—but offer sensitive and robust portraits of people, objects, and images that are often invisible or hidden from the mainstream.

    Curated by Solveig Øvstebø.

    Shadi Habib Allah was born in Jerusalem in 1977 and is currently based in New York City and Miami, FL. Recent solo exhibitions include Biscuits and Green Sox Maaike at Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York (2016); Shadi Habib Allah: 30KG Shine at Rodeo, London (2015); and Evacuated Containers at Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2013). His work has been included in the 13th Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, UK (2017); Tamawuj, Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2017); House of Commons at Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2016); and Surround Audience, New Museum Triennial, New York (2015). Habib Allah received a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2010. He undertook a residency at the Delfina Foundation in London in 2016 and received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2011.

    Put to Rights is presented in conjunction with a related project at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, September 22, 2018–January 20, 2019.