Khadijah Muse sees art as a tool that helps us navigate the ins and outs of the world: from our relationship with other people to our relationship with our environment to the relationship with oneself. Her goal for the AOV fellowship is to create an interactive and participatory installation that engages audiences on the issue of migration.
b. 1992, Somalia
Lives and works in Minneapolis
My path to art is greatly influenced by my commitment to community building. I was initially inspired by my quest to create and cultivate rich spaces where the community could gather and have meaningful conversations that lead to solutions. In that sentiment, art is my way of performing community service.
I am a multimedia visual artist who draws inspiration from public spaces and uses several media, including photography, woodworking, sculpture, painting, and installation. Often the concepts and ideas direct me to the form that an individual artwork will take. I see art as a tool that helps us navigate the ins and outs of the world, from our relationship with other people, our relationship with the environment, to the relationship with oneself. Art provides the spaces required for a meaningful conversation and an examination of the issues in the community. In the right moments, those conversations will guide us to solutions. My work resides in the intersection of quest and solution.
My art explores the concepts of movement and the exchange of ideas and knowledge by people moving from one place to another; this is based on my identity as an immigrant. I moved to the United States at the age of twelve from Kenya. This movement gave me the opportunity to understand two different cultures: I carried with me the memories from Kenya while creating new important memories in the United States. This experience sparked my interest in studying the ideas/knowledge/wisdom people bring to new places and how they exchange these with people of that place. Most of my work is interactive or takes place in public spaces, which always include an element of audience engagement.
In Between was inspired by the movement of people. I aim to create a piece that is welcoming and captivating for audiences while inviting them to participate in an interaction that will ask questions, some of which might be personal. In Between encourages participants to pause and consider the paths they have taken that brought them here. I hope that people will reflect on their interactions with other people as a result of moving to different places—the lessons they have learned, what they have gained, what they taught others, how those experiences made them feel, what they left behind, and what they took with them.
In the first phase of this project, I interviewed several people about their stories related to movement. Some of the conversations are highlighted in the exhibit. In its second phase, In Between encourages the audience to engage with the exhibit by answering questions and responding to the prompts as they progress through the space. The main goal of In Between is for both the participants in the research phase and the audience in the exhibit to think about their movements and the impact (especially the positive impact) that movement has in their lives.