High Line Art announces Freedom’s Stand, a new commission by artist Faheem Majeed. Showcasing the vitality of community-generated news and self-representation, Freedom’s Stand displays two centuries of Black newspapers on a 15-foot-tall wooden structure. The installation, Majeed’s first institutional exhibition in New York City, will be on view from September 2022 through August 2023 on the High Line at 30th Street. Freedom’s Stand is organized by Melanie Kress, associate curator, High Line Art. |
Located on the High Line at 30th Street near the pathway to Hudson Yards, a crossroads in the public park that sees traffic from thousands daily of domestic and international tourists as well as commuting office workers and residents, Faheem Majeed’s Freedom’s Stand is an homage to the influential role of Black newspapers as historic sources of information dissemination, community representation, and cultural production. Freedom’s Stand showcases a monthly rotation of headlines, articles, photographs, and advertisements from historical and contemporary Black American newspapers, such as the Chicago Defender from Chicago, Illinois and Nubian News from Trenton, New Jersey. The 175 total newspaper images are displayed, over the course of the installation, on a 15-foot-tall open structure made of reclaimed wood and wood-composite panels, resembling two-dimensional images layered in space. The structure’s form was inspired by Dogon architecture of Mali and outmoded newspaper stands designs formerly found on the streets of Chicago and New York.
Freedom’s Stand is named after Freedom’s Journal, the first Black-owned and -operated newspaper in New York City, founded in 1827, which offered a counter-narrative to newspapers that marginalized and encouraged the enslavement of Africans and African Americans. In Freedom’s Stand, Majeed highlights how Black newspapers record history as it is made in the United States, sharing stories and perspectives that are often under- and misreported by mainstream media, even today. The work draws inspiration from a range of influential, community-driven work, including Chicago’s Wall of Respect and the Community Mural Movement, and emphasizes the importance of community-generated news and selfrepresentation. The sculpture was initially conceived as a proposal for the High Line Plinth.
Faheem Majeed is an artist, professor, curator, and community facilitator. He blends his experiences to create artworks focused on institutional critique, as his exhibitions leverage collaboration to promote meaningful dialogue among his immediate and broader community. As part of his studio practice, he transforms materials such as particle board, scrap metal and wood, discarded signs, and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials. In 2016, Majeed co-founded Floating Museum, an art collective that creates new models for exploring relationships between art, community, architecture, and public institutions. He also served as executive director (2007–2011) and curator (2003–2011) of the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago, the oldest African American art center in the US.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Faheem Majeed (b. 1976, Chicago, Illinois) lives and works in Chicago. Majeed has presented solo exhibitions at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2022, 2016); Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (2020); South Side Community Art Center, Chicago (2020); Corvus Gallery, University of Chicago’s Laboratory School, Chicago (2019); SMFA at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts (2019); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2015). His work has been featured in group exhibitions at institutions including Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2017); DuSable Museum, Chicago (2017); and P!, New York, New York (2017). Majeed has received The Field and MacArthur Foundation’s Leaders for a New Chicago Award (2020), Joyce Foundation Award (2020), the Harpo Foundation Award (2016), and the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (2015).
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