Faheem Majeed brings the South Shore neighborhood to the MCA | Bleader

Faheem Majeed brings the South Shore neighborhood to the MCA

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Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden by Faheem Majeed at the Hyde Park Art Center, 2012
  • Tony Smith
  • Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden by Faheem Majeed at the Hyde Park Art Center, 2012
When curator Steven Bridges invited Faheem Majeed to do a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, he was most interested in Majeed's work as an artist. Majeed, who lives in South Shore, takes photos and creates installations that both record the changes in his neighborhood and reflect on his role as an artist living in that neighborhood.

"Art brings attention to spaces," Majeed explains. "It moves things around, speeds things up. When I built a shack [as an installation], people asked, 'Why are you building a shack in the neighborhood?' I said, 'I live here.' They said, 'No, why are you building a shack in the neighborhood?'"

But Majeed is not just an artist. He's also an arts administrator—for six years, he was the executive director of the South Shore Community Arts Center—and a professor at UIC. He knows a lot of people.

Majeed in his studio, 2009
  • Chris Tourre
  • Majeed in his studio, 2009
"The best use of a network," he says, "is to support curators at other institutions." So he suggested to Bridges that his MCA show also function as a collaboration with SSCAC.

"At first Steven thought it was weird," Majeed says, "but then he thought it was brilliant."

The SSCAC show, curated by MCA Teen Creative Agency alumni Kara Franco and Lamar Gayles, opens in May. In the meantime, Majeed will be bringing a handful of his own collaborators to the MCA, including students and alumni of Donda's House, the music education program founded by Donda West (mother of Kanye); performers from the Chicago Home Theater Festival; artist Avery Young; and Majeed's wife, LaShana Jackson, the person with whom he says he has the best conversations about his work.

"At the core, I'm interested in the notion of home," Majeed explains.

"Chicago Works: Faheem Majeed," 3/10 through 8/16, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-2660, mcachicago.org, $12.

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