Shadi Habib Allah
A Defective Wave Shields Disparate Topographies
Focus Section, Booth G27
6 – 9 October 2016
Carol has just limped out of her aerobics class, unable to finish due to shortness of breath. (Safe, 1995) This recurring condition eventually snowballs into an interiority complex, relieved only by self-hypnotic allergy afflictions. She decides to attend the Wrenwood Institute in New Mexico to heal the issue. The illness appears to be the best thing that happens to Carol, specifically while dealing with the matters of her isolation in suburban Los Angeles. She considers her illness an enlightenment and interprets her own refusal to participate in group therapy discussions as a desire to keep the illness.
Subsequently Per Segerbäck, an engineer at Ericsson, gets Electromagnetic Hyper-Sensitivity because he is overexposed to telecom fields he’s developing at work. The company responds by providing him with a metal-shielded workspace, a protective suit, and even a modified Volvo. Eventually he has to move to an iron-shielded cabin, isolated from telecom radiation.
Groups of Bedouins meanwhile use the now outmoded telecom network, Mr. Segerbäck helped engineer, for illicit exchange in the deserts of Sinai and Jordan. They found potential in the deficiency.
Shadi Habib Allah
Shadi Habib Allah’s practice traverses installation, video and sculpture, in order to examine the structural and material circulations of objects, people, histories and the economy. While each project defines its own terms and necessary means of engagement, a common thread is the reworking of existing structures and the making of images in ways that eventually erase or replace the original. Eventually, it becomes unclear what is original and what is the copy. Faintly humourous anecdotes function as a pretext for more complex topics and critical positions. His practice never centres on the object or the artifact itself. Rather, it concerns itself with the reconstruction or subversion of existing objects and in this way questions received ideas of use and value, and the structures that hold them in place.
Born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1977, Shadi Habib Allah received a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2010. He was twice awarded Second Prize in the Young Artist Award from the A.M. Qattan Foundation, and has attended residencies at Cittadelarte, Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy and Gasworks in London, England. He was nominated for the Luma Award (2011), and was also the 2012 recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. Habib Allah will start his upcoming residency at Delfina Foundation in London in October 2016.
Habib Allah’s work has been exhibited at the New Museum Triennial (2015); Art Statements, Art Basel 43 (2012); Palestine c/o Venice, Venice Biennale (2009); the Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah (2009); and In Focus, Tate Modern, London (2007), amongst others.
Recent exhibitions include Biscuits and Green Sox Maaike, Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York (2016); Shadi Habib Allah: 30KG Shine, Rodeo, London (2015); The Verdant at Hacienda, Zurich (2015); Empire State curated by Norman Rosenthal & Alex Gartenfeld, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2013) & Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris (2013); Frozen Lakes, Artists Space, New York (2013); and Nouvelles Vagues, curated by Jason Waite and Antonia Alampi, Palais de Tokyo,Paris (2013). He lives and works in New York.