Alia Farid (b.1985) lives and works in Kuwait and Puerto Rico, countries she is both from and whose complex colonial histories she reveals thorough drawings, objects, spatial installations and film. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from La Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico (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 (Bareclona).
I began making work between art, architecture and urban anthropology. Today I’m still interested in these areas, but with a much more focused point on 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.
In 2014 she curated Acquiring Modernity, Kuwait’s participation in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. During this time she lead a collective investigation that analyzed the arrival of modernity in Kuwait and concurrent effects on cultural productivity during this accelerated period of urban transformation propelled by the discovery of oil. Exceeding the limits and duration of the pavilion, she set up a yearlong “temporary school” that drew people in from different disciplines to discuss correlations between perception and the shaping of environments.
Recent and upcoming group shows include participation in the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, the 12th Gwangju Biennale, Sharjah Biennial 14, the 2nd Lahore Biennale, and Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991-2001 at MoMa PS1. Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include presentations of her work at Portikus (Frankfurt), Witte de With (Rotterdam), and the Swiss Institute (New York).