Artist Naeem Mohaiemen often uses his practice to bring light to restrictions and uprisings, as well as failed utopian ideals. A member of Visible Collective from 2001 - 2006, working around the consequences and impact of racial profiling and paranoid policing, in relation to travel.
Powerfully playing with the narrative and audience, Mohaiemen's work is skeptical and forces the witness to review their own situations, and complicity, in relation to what they see.
We had the chance to visit Documenta 14: Learning from Athens in May and Naeem Mohaimen was one of the few artists that really resonated with me. His film, Tripoli Cancelled (2017), is powerful in itself but it is the film's ability to expose ideas of alienation, in a city that has come to symbolize the alienated and that is dealing with a migration crisis of those who have also been pushed away from their homes, that holds the viewer. Based on when the artist's father was stuck in the Athens airport, the video questions rules around movement; of those that are made to fled, those that are made to wait with uncertainty.
Most of the visitors to Documenta are traveling to Athens from other countries so Mohaimen's choice to use imagery that is of recent memory, but completely isolate it from the crowds we're so accustomed to, poignantly draws them in while pointing out privilege and the growing divide between forced and free movement.
Learn more about Naeem Mohaimen's role at Documenta 14 here.