Farah Salem

Farah Salem


Farah Salem

I am a Chicago-based artist and art therapist born in Kuwait with mixed Iraqi heritage. My multidisciplinary practice is rooted within photography and expands into video, performance, fiber-materials, and installation. My art making process engages personal memories, reflecting on present circumstances, and the stories of collaborating participants whose experiences intersect with mine. I utilize a balance of research and play, and the knowledge I have gathered from my career in clinical/communal art therapy serves as a basis for some of my studio practice’s research. While interacting with numerous materials, I investigate the distortion of reality and perception, questioning the potential erasure of socio-cultural conditioning that influences and distorts our shared realities. Further, my work maintains an interrogative posture to examine the relationship between trauma and systemic oppression, culturally induced gender-based violence, and identity displacement.

I capture the portals and spaces between two or more worlds: I find subtle affinities between natural landscapes, geologic time, movement, the performing body, the human psyche, fiber-material structures, gendered trauma, metaphors from my cultural upbringing, music/dance traditions and rituals in The Arabian Peninsula. I merge present experiences of human and natural/geologic happenings, while looking at themes of access, agency, power, and the invisibly visible. I attempt to capture indescribable sensations in response to feelings and memories elicited by encounters within natural and cultural landscapes by mimicking them through another material and process. In a sense, I recreate the element of astoundment to challenge the notion of perception and engage viewers in self-reflection and challenging their own notions of perceptions.






For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Marina Vulinovic at mvulinovic@hydeparkart.org or 773-324-5520 ext. 1006.