MoMA PS1 will present the first solo museum exhibition of New York-based artist Meriem Bennani (b.1988, Rabat).
Part documentary travelogue, part soap opera, and part juicy gossip session, FLY is a new multimedia commission that immerses the viewer in an environment of brightly colored, geometric forms and surfaces. An animated fruit fly serves as a guide through the video, mischievously buzzing around an open-air market, weaving through Medina quarters in Rabat and Fez, and bringing viewers beyond the walls of private homes and into lavish private celebrations. FLY’s numerous screens and wide range of cultural references evade conventional narrative, synthesizing the onslaught of information streams that compete for our attention in contemporary life. Viewers must construct their own narrative from fragments of video that vary in size, perspective, and focus, drawing on instinctive ways of looking. The artist’s native Morocco, situated on the North African coast with proximity to Europe and the Middle East, is host to radically different cultures. Combining this site with her invented cast of animated digital characters, Bennani layers universal archetypes of human behavior and ritual alongside the visual characteristics of contemporary digital media, testing the boundaries of what we regard as familiar or strange, real or virtual.