squad, the calling of the common hero: photographs by faisal abdu'allah

Exhibition preparations for  Squad - The calling of the Common Hero: Photographs by Faisal Abdu'Allah,  at the Chazen Museum.  Photo:  L. Harper

Exhibition preparations for Squad - The calling of the Common Hero: Photographs by Faisal Abdu'Allah, at the Chazen Museum.  Photo:  L. Harper

What a privilege to co-create this show at the Chazen with Faisal (Abdu'Allah, British, b. 1969), who made new work in response to the themes we explored regarding bravery and heroism. We also curated his prior work for inclusion in the exhibition -above is "Last Supper I" 2012, an enormous, fabulous tapestry and one of two tapestries included with the Squad show. 

The Calling of the Common Herowas conceived by Professor Faisal Abdu'Allah and developed collaboratively with UW–Madison student curators. Faisal Abdu'Allah’s work reflects his deep engagement with both the physical and metaphysical properties of material. Using traditional printmaking techniques, he has explored a range of projects with an unconventional use of photographic and print media. 

Calling himself a "social storyteller,”Abdu'Allah provides a social commentary on the nature of displacement, privilege, and cultural assumptions. Within his portraiture work, Abdu'Allah expresses an interest in the difference between our ideology of the archetype and the reality of that archetype's humanity.

This exhibit, which marked his first solo show in the United States, continued Abdu'Allah's commentary on the need for a cultural storytelling that is embodied, personal, and communal in a way that diversifies the narratives we tell ourselves and each other.