Untitled (I Claim My Right to Be Complex)
70 x 50 cm
Courtesy the artist
Moallim’s self-portrait ties into a long tradition of conceptual art in which an apparently straightforward combination of words and images opens the door to multi-layered questions. The work insists on the right not to be seen as a representative of simplistic categories such as gender, class, skin color, or national origin. There is a tension in the piece between, on the one hand, the immediacy of the message and the way it was produced—the picture is taken in a photo booth—and on the other its multifaceted meaning. The uncomplicated expression of the work conveys a longing to just be able to be, without having to make an effort to respond to other people’s expectations or judgments.
Fatima Moallim (b. 1992, Russia) is a self-taught artist. She has exhibited site-specific works at Moderna Museet Stockholm, Göteborgs konsthall, Marabouparken, Zinkensdamm metro station in Stockholm, and on the glass facade of Bonniers konsthall. Her project Flyktinglandet draws from different aspects of her parents’ flight from Mogadishu, Somalia to Sweden. The alienating experience of relating to conflicting realities is manifested using her self-invented performance method, in which she makes temporary large-scale drawings that relate to the existing architecture and the feelings and moods present in the room.