The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago presents South Shore Chicago artist Faheem Majeed‘s first solo museum exhibition. His sculptural works are on view along with a room-sized installation – a new iteration of an ongoing project titled Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden – in which the artist curates events and performances by inviting Chicago-based organizations and artists to inhabit the space with him. Majeed’s focus on a plurality of voices and cultural perspectives – collaborators include Donda’s House, the Chicago Home Theater Festival, and Avery R. Young – allows the exhibition to develop, expand, and accumulate organically over time.
Artist Faheem Majeed (American, b. 1976) is a builder—literally and metaphorically. For his first solo museum exhibition, he questions how space becomes place, and, further, how places can foster a sense of home and belonging. The MCA—a public institution and, by extension, a type of public space—becomes the armature for the artist’s investigation.
A resident of South Shore Chicago, Majeed draws upon the material makeup of his neighborhood and surrounding areas as an entry point into questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional racism. As part of his studio practice, the artist transforms materials such as particleboard, scrap metal, wood, discarded signs, and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials. His broader engagement with the arts also involves arts administration, curation, and community facilitation, all of which feed into his larger practice.
In addition to presenting sculptural works and a room-sized installation, Majeed invites collaborators to activate the space through events and performances (see Related Events at top right). In this way, the exhibition presents a plurality of voices, cultural perspectives, and art-making strategies that develop and expand organically, accumulating and metabolizing different materials and visitors’ experiences. Even if only temporarily, the exhibition becomes a microcosm of the greater work the artist is doing, while also alluding and drawing attention to the work still to be done.
To extend the exhibition’s reach, the MCA is partnering with the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago, which hosts an exhibition curated by MCA Teen Creative Agency alumni Kara Franco and Lamar Gayles. Initiated by Majeed, this will be the first curatorial opportunity for Franco and Gayles to explore notions of place-making and activism in the context of SSCAC. The exhibition opens in May of 2015. Chicago Works: Faheem Majeed is organized by Curatorial Assistant Steven L. Bridges.
One of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. MCA Chicago documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan. The mission of the MCA is to be an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can directly experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social, and cultural context of the art of our time. The Museum boldly interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections, and educational programs to excite, challenge, and illuminate our visitors and to provide insight into the creative process. The MCA aspires to engage a broad and diverse audience, create a sense of community and be a place for contemplation, stimulation, and discussion about contemporary art and culture.