© KHALID ALBAIH, Camp, 2018. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation at the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen. Image courtesy of the artist.
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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.
The Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize Fund
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.