Abdi Farah

Region: MFA Annual

My work reinterprets the accoutrements surrounding highschool football in New Orleans. The pomp and circumstance encircling the field opens a larger discussion about affiliation, and our collective reckoning with arbitrary markers of identity, be it race or nationality, or whether we were born into a family of Saints fans or followers of Jesus. I create simulations of the objects of commemoration and celebration on the field: DIY T-shirts celebrating one’s son on the team, or the handsewn marching-band banners or dance-team uniforms. I embellish or remove aspects of their original construction in order to highlight the embedded virtuosic use of composition, color, and design present in these “craft” objects. These works expose the overlap between local and homemade crafts and the hallowed masterworks of abstract expressionism, minimalism, and pop art. The overlooked formal and conceptual sophistication of these objects, often made by those who do not consider themselves artists, interrogates how we somewhat arbitrarily imbue certain art objects, and people by extension, with more meaning and value while conversely depriving others of the same.