Meriem BennaniNew Frontiers Art

Photography by Clement Pascal
Text by Becky Elmquist


Image courtesy of the artist and MoMA PS1. Photo: Pablo Enriquez
Portrait Clement Pascal


Brooklyn-based artist Meriem Bennani thrives on mixing and merging her cultural identities in order to locate assumptions and reveal their complexities. Bennani grew up in Rabat, Morocco and earned an MFA from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and a BFA from New York’s Cooper Union. In our current political climate, many have felt the pressure of thinking about their cultural and political identity. Yet in the face of this narrow, polarizing process, Bennani’s reaction “has been to make work that itself doesn’t stick to a genre or one identity.” Bennani is a storyteller, who has a keen understanding of the phrase, ‘it’s all in the delivery.’ At the core of her work is an outlandish sense of humor that reaches a large audience through her social and art channels. Even her Instagram account serves as an outlet for cultural understanding, “I feel like I have an hard time connecting to anything that doesn’t have humor,” says the artist, “because for me humor is like survival.”
  To read the full text download MUSE 47 available from September 7th, 2017