Twice is too much
The second series of works curated by Shaheen Merali at the Freies Museum is realised using a similar strategy to that of Three Voices in My Head (April-May 2010), devoting each floor to an individual’s artistic practice - a strategy that the curator explains “allows for a comprehensive viewing of each artists concerns and use of materials and mediums”.
Once is enough, twice is too much but three times is too much to bear contains two, one person exhibitions, on the first and second floor, by Hassan Hajjaj and Zak Ove respectively, whilst the mezzanine floor is devoted to a space in which to encounter a project entitled, Atrocity Anonyme. All three floors occupy a unique environment that houses specific notations that have risen out of a sense of urgency, of social and political concerns as envisaged by individual artists or in the case of Atrocity Anonyme, a semi-anonymous set of individual, active within a group project.
On the first floor is the exhibition, PastFuture, a new series of works by London based, Trinidadian artist, Zak Ove. A prestigious young figure in the English and the Caribbean artworld, his sculptural works are often a fantastical approchement of African effigies, echoing within the diasporic memory world of the Trinidadian carnival and the Bahamian jankaroo festivals.
The second floor accommodates the sprawling works of Moroccon born, London based artist, Hassan Hajjaj. A gifted individual with a passion for collecting the popular, he is a close examiner of ‘the brand-fetish’ consumer culture that has so intriguingly developed as a signifier of globalisation. His large-scale installations and sculpture often integrate many elements to create a strange fusion of places and spaces in a logo branded world. Traversing between North African products and an intriguing fashion conscious world, Hajjaj mostly uses ordinary objects found in the shops of his homeland of Morocco and re-positions them into custom made frames that further excite the notion of a hungry gaze, of an unabated appetite found in the lifestyles of urban consumers.
On the Mezzanine Floor is situated Atrocity Anonyme :
Raha Rastifard and Mehran Tizkar, Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Basel Abbas
Atrocity Anonyme is a series of original works that constitutes a group response to the atrocity that followed the recent marked upheavals in Iran and the continuing atrocities of the invasion and circumvention of the Gaza Strip.
Drawing mostly on archival material the artists and members of the community have reconfigured the material to address aspects that they find important, working towards allowing a better understanding of the role of images, sounds and ideas in the region.
Raha Rastifard has been involved in looking at history through her own desires, her own needs and in a substantial way to look at her past, how this history has created a type for her and a type in her; the heroines that remain obscure and those which find a place in the western system. Somewhere in-between Rastifard suggests that the “I” can be found.
Tizkar is represented by a large-scale installation, After the execution.
The installation argues that “Humankind seems lost, driven out from paradise and alone on earth; where they try to make the world in the image of paradise by a (world) regulation and a (world) order. These regulations and orders are not appropriate to every human, which causes violence, and violence produces catastrophe.
Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Basel Abbas work together across of range of sound, video, image and text practices. Their work often explores issues connected with spatial politics and subjectiviy, place and narrative, and the relation between the actual, imagined and remembered.