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Public Art Fund Talks: Farah Al Qasimi

Public Art Fund Talks: Farah Al Qasimi


This program has been rescheduled. If you have reserved tickets, please email [email protected]. The new date will be announced in March. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Farah Al Qasimi, who lives and works in Brooklyn and Dubai, is an artist whose practice includes photography, video, and performance. Best known for the rich textures and colors of her photographs, Al Qasimi’s distinct approach to portraiture challenges traditional notions of figuration by utilizing elements of camouflage, concealment, and revelation. Instead, her subjects’ individuality is expressed through personal adornment – clothing, hairstyles, and poses – that reflect their personalities.

On February 20, the artist will give a public talk at The Cooper Union’s Frederick P. Rose Auditorium to accompany her first institutional solo show in New York City, Back and Forth Disco, presented by Public Art Fund on 100 JCDecaux bus shelter across all five boroughs. For this exhibition, Al Qasimi has created a new suite of 17 photographs that isolate and highlight the beauty of ephemeral moments amidst the city’s visual and audible noise. Al Qasimi has taken New York City as her subject, focusing primarily on immigrant neighborhoods that resonate with her own experience, and photographing local communities where small businesses thrive. The artist’s talk will offer insight into the process of creating this new body of work and the significance of presenting it in public space.


The Cooper Union

The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

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Image Gallery

About the Artist

Farah Al Qasimi (b.1991, United Arab Emirates) works in photography, video, and performance. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai; the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco; the CCS Bard Galleries at the Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Helena Anrather, New York; The Third Line, Dubai; The List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cambridge; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and the Houston Center for Photography, Houston. Al Qasimi received her MFA from the Yale School of Art. She has participated in residencies at the Delfina Foundation, London; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and is a recipient of the New York NADA Artadia Prize and the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, New York.

About the Talks

Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.

Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union