ARCAthens
Muna Malik

Muna participated as a Visual Arts Fellow for the Athens Residency (Spring 2024) . Click here to see Muna’s program.

 

Muna Malik is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA born in Sanaa, Yemen. Her work explores history, gender, popular culture, social justice, politics, and identity, employing diverse mediums and forms, from painting and sculpture to large-scale, socially engaged public art, and film.

Her work has been featured in institutions and publications such as The New York Times, LA Times, Vogue, Parrish Art Museum, Annenberg Center for Photography, ICP, and the MOCA Geffen. She has been a billboard artist in the “For Freedoms 50 State Initiative” and “2020 Awakening.” Additionally, her work has been featured in Artforum and iD Magazine. She recently unveiled a new large-scale interactive sculpture in Battery Park City, NYC, which has found its way to the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, NY.

“At the heart of my creative journey are fundamental questions that have shaped my identity. For instance, how does one articulate the shadow of 30+ years of conflict and displacement in Somalia or Yemen? How can refugees’ biographies reflect the contradictions of trauma and joy? Where does one’s identity reside when nowhere feels quite your own?  I am interested in how one’s identity can feel constantly in flux or evolving as it is shaped and mapped across different nations, through multiple migrations, while also being informed by the political tensions inherent in each space. 

My artistic practice is multidisciplinary, employing painting, film, and sculpture as tools to explore a wide spectrum of themes, including history, gender, popular culture, social justice, identity politics. ArcAthens presents a significant opportunity for me to expand and experiment with my practice. For example, one of my projects aims to repurpose devalued Somali Shilling banknotes into art objects. This project is about reshaping the narrative around these banknotes, questioning what gives money its value and who defines that value, and breathing new life into this ‘useless’ currency through art. It’s a chance for me to explore how we perceive worth and challenge conventional ideas about value. This residency would also give me the time and space required to delve deeper into themes relating to land, nationhood, migration, and belonging as Athens is at the heart of many migration journeys. I plan to explore these subjects using painting, ceramics, and printmaking.”