For her fist solo exhibition in Paris, 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 articulate it’s own history: pearl sieves, the severed head of a clay figurine, wooden sandals, broken glass, potsherds, garments, a camel head trapping, the capital of a column and walls from a nearby excavated fort are among the items documented. In some of the images neither site nor object is apparent. In others, a black and white rod set alongside unearthed matter provides viewers with a sense of scale. Not far from the images, piles of plastic bags filled with fragments from previous civilizations lie in wait, unearthed and yet unexposed. Stranded between archeological site and museum, like spirits 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 unreconciled 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, self portrait and state narrative.
For more about this exhibition see this review.
Below, views of the installation:
Holy water jerrycan, 2017
30 x 36 x 15 cm, 65 kg
A photograph of the artist’s father having his head shaved before fulfilling the mandatory
military service (1983). Standing next to him, male and female relatives.
View of the installation, a combination of images and records found in the storage basment of the museum-in-progress and images and objects of the artist’s own.
View of the installation.
A page from a unpublished book on Dilmun seals discovered in Kuwait.