Alicia Mersy, Fatima holding herself, 2021; Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Print
Born in Montreal and based in New York, Alicia Mersy uses the camera as a means to connect to people and to the divine, by forging pathways towards personal and collective peace. The Lebanese-French artist aims to empower others by getting close to them, listening to their hearts, and bringing to light their vision and feelings. Inspired by free spirits, radicals and revolutionaries, Mersy’s practice—spanning video, digital imagery, documentaries and workshops—strives towards strengthening solidarity. Her work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Abrons Arts Center, New York; Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv; and Larrie, New York.
Fatima holding herself derives from a body of work titled Not white, not Jewish—an ongoing documentation series that centers on a beauty salon in the central bus station of Tel Aviv. Mersy spent time in the social gathering place, owned by a Sudanese refugee and frequented by an Ethiopian Jewish clientele, to document her women subjects’ opinions on their lives in Israel. The salon, as a space for both self care and collective reflection, takes on an emblematic meaning within the artist’s larger practice.
In addition to the five New York City arts organizations that this series benefits, Mersy has also individually elected to also donate 10% of net proceeds of this limited edition to alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, a grassroots organization dedicated to building LGBTQ communities and promoting new ideas about the role of gender and sexual diversity in political activism, civil society institutions, media, and everyday life.