Born to Palestinian and Lebanese parents in the US, Fareed Armaly has lived his adult life abroad, gaining most of his knowledge about America via the media. These multicultural experiences dovetail with issues explored in his installations: identity and representation, as well as the idea of the social imaginary—a discourse about how human interaction fabricates a collective understanding of the world.
Maps are referenced both literally and metaphorically in Armaly’s work. In his 1999 project From/To, routes to and from a range of Middle Eastern cities were plotted in the real space of the gallery. As viewers moved through the installation, video, audio, and documentary material combined with structural elements to expose the Palestinian experience, particularly the physical and psychological barriers encountered on a daily basis. In this work, as in others, Armaly reveals how various components—namely architecture and media—intersect and overlap to form a space in which identity is created and comprehended.
Fareed Armaly was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1957. Solo exhibitions include From/To, Witte de With, Rotterdam, NL (1999); BREA-KD-OWN, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (1993); and re(Orient), Galerie Lorenz, Paris, France (1989). He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions including Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (2002); Architectures of Discourse, Tapies Foundation Museum, Barcelona, Spain (2001); NowHere, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (1996); and Project Unite, Unite d’Habitation, Firminy, France (1993). The artist divides his time between Berlin, Germany and Washington, DC.