Saturday, October 31, 2015

Meriem Bennani's absurdist hijabs have caputured the artworld's attention

By Kat Herriman
Two playful designs, "Pocket Funjab" (left) and "Tennis Funjab," from the artist Meriem Bennani's "Fardaous Funjab Catalogue, Avant-Garde Funjabs by Avant-Garde Designer for Avant-Garde Women." Credit Courtesy of the artist
When the New York-based artist Meriem Bennani took off this past August for a two-month stint of surfing, filming and researching in her native Rabat, Morocco, the 27-year-old commemorated the occasion by posting a quick Instagram video of herself whizzing between New York and Morocco with a single swing of the camera. Two weeks later, Bennani posted from a shoot in Barcelona: stills from the latest episode of “Fardaous Funjab,” her fake reality TV show centered on a fictitious hijab designer and her absurdist headpieces. Thanks to her cheeky sensibility, Bennani’s work is catching on this fall.  [link]

The Jewish Museum:“Unorthodox” (Nov. 6, 2015 - March 27, 2016); 1109 5th Ave at 92nd St, New York; (212)423-3200;

Image of Meriem Bennani and her sister. Courtesy of NEW ANCESTORS
Meriem Bennani: "Yes actually, I had this moment where I realized that this video of a joke I made could be really offensive. I took this music video that everybody knows, the very sexy Chris Isaak video on the beach, and I covered the woman on the video with a burka and you see how the video loses its point, like she’s being sexy but she’s covered, and there’s shots where she pulls on her bathing suit, but she does it on the black mass of the burka. For me it was a joke; as a woman from a Muslim country I feel a little bit allowed because I talk about these things from the inside." [link]