Project Atrium: Khalid Albaih

Camp / Wall / Flock

July 20, 2019 - October 27, 2019

Romanian born, Qatari raised, Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark where he is the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) PEN Artist-in-Residence. Internationally known for his politically engaged art, Albaih presents Camp / Wall / Flock, his largest installation to date, which builds upon previous work engaging refugees in Denmark. For this exhibition, Albaih highlights the largest population demographics of Jacksonville's refugee community and also the city, the most diverse in the state of Florida, as a point of entry into the United States of America.

Taking inspiration from a design posted on Twitter  by President Donald Trump for a wall to be built along the Southern border, Albaih divides the Atrium Gallery in half, emblematic of the current national and international immigration debate. On one side of the wall, life-sized passport 'tents' form an encampment - temporary, clustered, and containing. On the other side, the passports are inverted, becoming birds flocking and flying freely. Upon entering the exhibition, viewers choose which side of the Atrium they will enter. The placement of the wall prompts reflection upon ideas surrounding immigration, migration, identity, displacement, freedom of movement, and home. In this environment, Camp / Wall / Flock provides a welcome opportunity for unmediated contemplation and a platform for sensitive, productive dialogue about an issue directly impacting our community today.

sponsors

Presenting

The Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize Fund

supporting

Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow

Project Atrium: Khalid Albaih is organized by MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural institute of the University of North Florida. Support for this exhibition was made in part by the City of Jacksonville, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the University of North Florida.

MOCA Jacksonville would like to thank all those who contributed to this exhibition, with a special thanks to Christine Rothberg of Project for Healing, Inc.; Cristina Parcell of Lutheran Social Services, Frances Luna of the Catholic Charities Bureau, Jose Vega of World Relief, Hind Chahed of the Center for Language and Culture, ESOL, Duval County Public Schools, LeAndra Stafford of Refugee Services Program at the Florida Department of Children & Families, Barton and Lori Chelf of Beyond90, Jean Emile and Adianez Garcia Campos.

Artists

Khalid Albaih

Khalid Albaih

Romanian born, Qatari raised, Sudanese artist and political cartoonist, Khalid Albaih currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark where he is the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) PEN Artist-in-Residence. He is the 2018 inaugural Soros Arts Fellow for the Open Society Foundation and was the 2016 Oak Fellow at the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College in Maine. Based in Doha, Qatar since 1990, Albaih worked as the Head of Public Art for Qatar Museums Authority. Albaih publishes his cartoons on social media under the name “Khartoon,” a pun on his hometown and the capital city of Sudan. His cartoons have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, National Public Radio, and the BBC, and his social and political written commentary has been published in The Guardian, CNN, and Al Jazeera, among others. Albaih's work has also been exhibited around the globe, including in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Qatar, India, and Japan. Albaih is the founder of both @DohaFashionFridays and the Khartoum Art + Comics Library and is also an instrumental figure in the artist collective, CULTURUNNERS. Recent exhibitions of Albaih's work include The Art of Resistance at the Power of Art House, Amsterdam (2019), #Crowdsourced at Katara Art Center, Doha (2017), and @Khartoon!-@khalidalbaih at the Harvard Center of Middle Eastern Studies in Boston (2016). 

Image courtesy of the artist