Faheem Majeed is an artist, educator, curator, and community facilitator. He blends his unique experience as an artist, non-profit administrator, and curator to create works that focus on institutional critique and exhibitions that leverage collaboration to engage his immediate, and the broader community, in meaningful dialogue. Majeed received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
From 2005-2011 Majeed served as executive director and curator for the South Side Community Art Center and is currently Co-Director and Founder of the Floating Museum.
Majeed is a recipient of the The Field and MacArthur Foundation’s Leaders for a New Chicago Award (2020), Joyce Foundation Award (2020), the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (2015), and the Harpo Foundation Awardee (2016). Majeed’s solo exhibitions include MCA Chicago, SMFA at Tufts, and the Hyde Park Art Center.
I have always been drawn to odd, broken or marginalized things…that translates to objects, places and people. I think I’m drawn to these kinds of things because of a bottomless curiosity…not necessarily to tear things apart to see how they work but to understand connections, motivations, and ultimately outcomes. The curator in me sees the ability to put these things together in a way that is different from their originally intended purpose. I try to refocus the lens and tell a story that was not obvious or perhaps lacked a voice. I synthesize aspects of making, curating, community organizing, performance, and appropriation into my work. By creating an environment leveraging these aspects and engaging culturally specific institutions, community thought leaders, community stakeholders, and other artists I am able to position my role as “artist” in a broader socially engaged context.
On the whole, my art work functions like breadcrumbs in the forest leading my audience back to the people and spaces that I value or that I believe should be valued by others. At times, that path is created through “loving” institutional critique. I find ways to question the validity and efficacy of a space in an attempt to ignite dialogue and action that addresses the underlying issues that may contribute to the perceived devaluation.
My perspective on the work I create and the role I play has evolved over time. In shifting roles from independent working artist to curator to non-profit director to teacher to administrator, I have grown to understand the difference between creating an object and creating a platform. I now view my work well beyond object making. It is an approach much more grounded in considering the impact and developing the object that plays its part in a larger scheme of change.