ON THE ROAD

MOHEB SOLIMAN: NATURALIZED

Exhibition:

April 15-May 29, 2016

Curator:

Justyna Werbel

NATURALIZED

A performance and installation on video / Moheb Soliman / September 2012 / Salem Art Works, Salem, NY

The desire for citizenship and belonging beyond a legal status to a country or a physical land is embodied in this piece through a play on the rite and meaning of naturalization. The ideas of initiation and immersion into the very nature of a place are presented through a series of automated submersions. Poet and performance artist Moheb Soliman, the final appearance in the video, is an Egyptian-born citizen of the US who immigrated to Canada to study, work, and live but was unable to settle there.

MOHEB SOLIMAN 

Poet and performance artist born in Egypt and raised in the Midwest and now based in Minneapolis, MN after moving back to the US from Canada. 

‘For me, “place” has been as deep an indicator of identity as race, or gender—a most complex calculation of what, where, and to whom I belong. In the past decade my work has dealt with these and related themes through interdisciplinary pieces presented in the US and Canada at various venues, group shows, and festivals. My performance poetry show ‘Habib Albi is… Not a Man’, about romance, gender, and Arab-American identity in the Midwest in light of 9/11 has played at established venues in New York, Toronto, and Montreal, where in September 2011 it was commissioned as the MAI’s season-opener in 10-year critical commemoration of 9/11. 

For my on-going Great Lakes project, in 2013, I received a Pillsbury House Naked Stages grant. In 2014 it was commissioned for a participatory installation at the Northern Spark art festival. In 2015, I was awarded a special Joyce Foundation fellowship to develop this project on a more regional scale, circling the continuous coast of the Great Lakes borderland and collaborating with diverse organizations all around it towards publishing a book of poems, prose, and images that will be the basis of other interdisciplinary work. I have also participated in many more traditional literary readings and events, attended residencies at such wonderful institutions as The Banff Centre and hidden treasures such as Hill House, and curated and facilitated shows, residencies, and other activities. 

I currently work for the Arab arts organizations Mizna and I went to school at Kalamazoo College, Ohio State University, and Eugene Lang College at the New School for Social Research where I got my undergraduate degree. I also studied at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute of Studies in Education where I received my master’s degree. I really like walking, maps and geography, all kinds of music, films and series, and I am thrilled to be a part of this show’. Moheb Soliman

ON THE ROAD

The exhibition is a continuation of the series 'On the Road' presented at TRAFO PLUG IN: PROJECT ROOM. The program seeks direct dialogues with emerging artists in North America. The exhibitions focus on on video pieces the artists have produced in recent years, and they are accompanied by interviews with the artists. The series was initiated by Toronto based artists the Broadbent Sisters, featuring their 2015 video project ‘Clearing Spaces V’.