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Shadi Habib Allah: Free Rein
20 April 2019 until 2 June 2019
Centre for Contemporary Arts
Shadi Habib Allah’s exhibition at CCA explores the legacies of government welfare policies, examining how local areas adapt and survive in response to changes of city planning and strategy over time. Taking place ten months after the second fire at Glasgow School of Art and at a time when CCA’s surrounding area has undergone many physical and emotional transformations, Shadi’s work resonates with a changing city and street – as well as a politics of austerity – as he explores the hidden economy of corner shops. Shadi’s recent works respond to the city zoning and welfare policies that resulted in food deserts in Miami, particularly in Liberty City where the artist once resided. Recent transformation and proliferation of chain supermarkets have forced corner shops to adopt new and illicit forms of trade such as exchanging food stamps and welfare cards for cash. The work responds to the aesthetics of the new economies, examining how the representation of these communities, their sociality and transactions are constantly calibrated in response to the violence, ineptitude or apathy of the state.
New works including 70 days Behind Inventory and Measured Volumes respond directly to a corner shop in Miami where Shadi previously lived and worked, recreating hollow forms and absences from the shop’s tiled floor and its masquerading, rarely-sold stock. A new sound work Sound Appearance departs from an interest in how the recipients of welfare should appear, speak and act, exploring what is deemed an acceptable person-in-need.
Commissioned as part of The Consortium Commissions – a project initiated by Mophradat.