Shadi Habib Allah’s new project was initiated by an immersive engagement with corner stores in Liberty City, Miami in an attempt to examine government welfare policies and their impact on a largely disenfranchised and marginalized population. Serving as hubs for local communities and centers for non-monetary forms of exchange, the stores maintain an interdependent relationship with their clientele by allowing customers to buy groceries on credit or exchange food stamps for cash.
The exchanges that emerge within these contexts embody the impoverishment, scarcity, and financial inequity that form the basis of Habib Allah’s research and his focus on data collection as a way of processing daily realities. Prompted specifically by the distribution policies of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the personal relationships between storeowners and customers, Habib Allah’s project is organized around a series of images and sculptures that approximate the quotidian nature and social reality of areas such as Liberty City, which are marked by racial and economic disparity.
Shadi Habib Allah (b. 1977, Jerusalem) currently lives and works in New York. His work has been the included in solo and group exhibitions at SculptureCenter, Long Island City, New York (2018); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2017); Beursschouwburg, Brussels (2017); Portikus, Frankfurt (2016); National Gallery of Arts, Tirana, Albania (2014); Artist Space, New York (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); Tate Modern, London (2007); and Issaf Nashashibi Center, Jerusalem (2005), among others. Habib Allah has also participated in notable survey shows, including Sharjah Biennial 13, UAE (2017); New Museum Triennial, New York (2015); 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); and Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah, Palestine (2007). He was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant in 2011. Concurrent with the exhibition at the Hammer, Habib Allah will present a solo exhibition at the Renaissance Society, University of Chicago (2018); as well as a solo exhibition at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2019), as part of The Consortium Commissions.