IBI AT BAR
Guided by Fairuz’ melodies during his entire stay, Ibi set out to explore the intimate relationship between the iconic singer and her listeners, culminating in a video installation that reflects her unifying strength which transcends political and religious frictions. A second installation brings together the tangible harshness cutting up the streets of Beirut, engaging in a vulnerable dialogue with the artists’ own emotional struggles.
Dates of residency: Jan 4 - Feb 15, 2016
Lives and works: Berlin, Germany
BIO/ STATEMENT: Born in the United States but raised throughout the the Middle East, between Yemen, Libya, Iraq and the Unites Arab Emirates, Ibrahim reflects his multi-cultural mindset through his works of photography and film. While many of his pieces are based on his own life-experiences, they often address controversial topics which conflict with the traditional Yemeni society he comes from. Ibrahim's work touches upon issues of sexuality, gender, and tradition and through his unfiltered images, he has succeeded in instigating heated discussions between Yemeni youth regarding the social and cultural effects of the widespread conservatism which has grown in his country and the region over the last forty years.
In his body of work, Ibrahim seeks to emphasize a pivotal aspect of Middle Eastern culture and history that is accepting and open to change, regardless of conservative trends that have swept throughout the region. He also hopes to shed light on the the clear tradition of liberalism in the region dating back centuries which now can only reveal itself through contained spurts. Through his practice, Ibrahim engages in controversial topics in an effort to normalize public discussions about self exploration, sexuality, gender equality and freedom of expression in his country and the region as a whole.
In 2014, Ibi Ibrahim became the first Yemeni artist to participate in the Cité Internationale des Arts residency program in Paris. During the residency period, Ibrahim began developing a series of experimental paintings solely made using Yemeni Coffee, aiming to comment on the economical delcine of Coffee production in Yemen. The result of the work created during the residency was exhibited at JAMM Art gallery in Dubai as his first solo exhibition in the region. "Light, Leaves and Yemeni Coffee" marked a new direction in the career of an emerging artist often associated with sexual and tabboed topics in the Muslim world.