Marwa Benhalim is a Libyan/Egyptian artist and curator based in Cairo, Egypt. Her interdisciplinary art practice employs language, mainstream culture, and objects as a tool to collapse and contentiously resist oppressive powers. Her work utilizes text, sculpture, food, sound, video, and collaboration in the form of multimedia installations to reveal how power systems proliferated and established tools in shaping, directing, and dominating social and political thought and action. As both an artist and a curator, she constantly explores new mediums, spaces, and ideological constructs to create works and exhibitions.
Benhalim’s curatorial practice engages with artists and thematics that untangle these systems with works that surpass nostalgic narratives and expand our understandings of consumption, capitalism, and colonialism. With exhibitions in unconventional spaces, where art isn’t necessarily the main focal point, possibly our kitchens, a pharmacy, or the sidewalk, she uses collaboration and discourse to form new ways of addressing and engaging with significant societal issues.
Her curatorial projects include Scaffolding a Familiar Epoch, a participatory museum-like experience in Stephenson Pharmacy in Downtown Cairo by artist Yasmine El Meleegy in March 2021. As well as TOKEN a painting and NFT video exhibition by artist Aya Tarek in December 2021, which explored our obsession with consumption and its effect on the Egyptian societal ideals that dominate our virtual and non-virtual realities. She is the co-founder of Attempting Abla Nazira, with artist Moza Almatrooshi. The platform engages women working in creative intellectual and service fields by cooking, writing, and reflecting on food in relation to cultural production, gender politics, and regional socio-economics.
Benhalim holds an MFA from Southern Methodist University, TX; a BA from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from the University of the Arts, London, UK. She has participated in exhibitions in Mexico, Egypt, Lebanon, the USA, Italy, Spain, the UAE, and Morocco.