September 12, 2018 - The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago - Shadi Habib Allah: Put to Rights
September 12, 2018

The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago

Shadi Habib Allah, 5081 35, 2018. Courtesy the artist.

Shadi Habib Allah
Put to Rights
September 15–November 4, 2018

Opening reception: September 15, 5–8pm, with artist talk at 6pm

The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago
Cobb Hall, 4th Floor
5811 S. Ellis Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–5pm,
Thursday 10am–8pm,
Saturday–Sunday 12–5pm
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Shadi Habib Allah is a New York and Miami-based Palestinian artist who works across film, sculpture, and installation, often drawing on a process of deep research and on-the-ground engagement in specific locales. Richly varied in form and focus, his projects run the gamut from reimagining a ghost story from 1930s Jerusalem to traveling along illicit trade routes with Bedouin smugglers.

Uniting Habib Allah’s works is a distinctively ambiguous approach to his subject matter, tempering a deliberate and critical distance with a sympathetic, almost intimate tone. His projects are not documentary, per se—he takes an artist’s license in combining scripted and observational moments, and in non-linear edits—but offer sensitive and robust portraits of people, objects, and images. In these, Habib Allah locates active economies of goods and services that exist independently of, and at times elude or exploit, state-sanctioned systems.

At the Renaissance Society, two new works point to the transformation of Miami-area corner grocery stores in the face of government policies. Where they once flourished as one of the only local options to buy food, their primary exchanges have shifted to gambling and illegal food stamp transactions. 70 Days Behind Inventory relocates the flooring from one of these sites in into the space of the gallery, while a series of photographs, Dropping the 10th Digit, captures details of the hand-written receipts tracking customers’ records of debts and food stamp exchange for cash. Presented alongside these, previous video works The King and the Jester, S/N: 8F1GNA0021 and 30kg Shine trace other systems of clandestine circulation and slippery subcultures.

Shadi Habib Allah was born in Jerusalem in 1977 and is currently based in New York City and Miami, FL. Recent solo exhibitions include Biscuits and Green Sox Maaike at Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York (2016); Shadi Habib Allah: 30kg Shine at Rodeo, London (2015); and Evacuated Containers at Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2013). His work has been included in the 13th Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, UK (2017); Tamawuj, Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2017); House of Commons at Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2016); and Surround Audience, New Museum Triennial, New York (2015). Habib Allah received a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2010. He undertook a residency at the Delfina Foundation in London in 2016, received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2011, and was an inaugural recipient of Mophradat’s Consortium Commissions in 2018.

Curated by Solveig Øvstebø.

Put to Rights is presented in conjunction with a related project at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, September 22, 2018–January 20, 2019. Thanks to The Consortium Commissions.

The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago
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Put to Rights
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