Adelita Husni Bey
Adelita Husni Bey (Italy-Libya,1985) is an artist and pedagogue based in New York. Her practice is based on workshops in which she explores contemporary social topics with participants who collaborate critically in shaping the outcome.
Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions such as Playing Truant, Gasworks, London (2012), Undiscovered Worlds, the High Line, New York (2015), Really Useful Knowledge, Reina Sofia museum, Madrid (2014), Utopia for Sale?, MAXXI museum, Rome (2014) and TRACK, S.M.A.K museum, Ghent. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths University (2009) and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (2012). Her work has received praise from international newspapers such as the Guardian, El Pais and Il Corriere della Sera, as well as specialised media such as Frieze Magazine and Artforum. She has lectured on her practice at the London School of Economics, the New School in New York and the Dutch Art Institute amongst other institutions.
Postcards from the Desert Island: In 2011 Adelita worked with a group of children aged 9-12 at the Ecole Vitruve in Paris. Through the workshop the children explored themes such as public space, privatisation, governance and by constructing and inhabiting a ‘desert island’ in their school hall. To view the film please see: https://vimeo.com/59611642 (password: view).
Agency: Through a collaboration with a local high school Adelita and the students explored themes of power, media representation and politics in Italy. During the 3 day workshop hosted at Maxxi museum in Rome the participants acted in their roles as journalists, bankers, politicians, workers and activists to shape the future of their ‘society’. To view the related film please see: https://vimeo.com/121203559 (password: view)
Ard: The Cairo 2050 urban plan is set to displace up to 30% of Cairo’s population. In 2014 Adelita and residents from the neighborhoods of Ramlat Boulaq and Qursaya Island currently threatened by the plan met in a theater for a 1 day workshop addressing urban legislation and the future of their city. To view the final film please see: https://vimeo.com/112697696 (password: view).
(On) Difficult Terms: During her stay in Egypt Adelita also worked with a group of journalists from the online magazine Mada Masr. Vocal dissenters of the military regime the journalists often had to censor their texts. During the workshop journalists from Mada Masr discussed words they found difficult to use and how western media had ‘flattened’ the use of some words such as ‘Revolution’ or ‘Arab Spring’ which were deeper and more complex questions locally. The resulting wall painting depicting the conversation graphically remains in their headquarters to date.