Structures that erase identity

May 11, 2015 - By Jyoti Kalsi for Gulf News

In his multimedia artworks, the artist has juxtaposed various references to pre-1948 Palestine with concrete blocks, which can be seen as a symbol of occupation, representing the apartheid wall, the road blocks encountered daily by Palestinians, and the intrusion of other architectural styles on Palestinian architecture.

The artworks highlight the fact that while architecture can provide shelter, it also has the potential to destroy people and obliterate their existence. Through the heaviness and destructive power of architecture, Harb speaks about the violence of occupation and the destruction of cultural narratives.

However, he also expresses hope in the power and potential of architecture to reverse the destruction and to construct a better future. The show is organised by Salsali Private Museum in collaboration with Athr gallery, Jeddah, and curated by Lara Khaldi.

Alserkal Avenue's Industrial Chic Grows In Dubai

March 23, 2015 - By Scott Indrisek for Blouin ArtInfo

A special commission by Gaza-born artist Hazem Harb, on view during Art Week, memorialized the actual construction of the Avenue's expansion through video and sculpture; it was admittedly strange and uncomfortable to stand there and watch footage of half a dozen foreign laborers performing their tasks while singing, since labor conditions in the UAE don’t typically generate the most pleasing melodies

Over the past few years Hazem Harb has developed a multifaceted practice, where he has worked with painting, video, drawing, sculpture and installation. His work pivots around examining and laying bare structures and apparatuses of power and hierarchies. Hazem has been preoccupied lately with questions around architecture and destruction: how and when does architecture cease to be an oppressive apparatus? How do certain architectural styles museumize a people? While other styles shelter others? How can sculpture counter architecture? How can sculpture be non-monumental? questions that are posed throughout the exhibition to initiate a discussion.

Curated by Lara Khaldi, the exhibition will include a new large body of work which Hazem has been engaged with over the past year. It will feature a new series of collages, where archival photographs of Palestine pre 1948 are juxtaposed with the heaviness of concrete blocks, wave breakers, lines, and black squares and rectangles. Hazem combines a formal language with his research into Palestinian history and architecture, he attempts an aesthetic language based on the politics of form. The exhibition will also feature architectural models and sculptures, a series of projected sculptures and other major installations. In addition a series of short videos will be projected in the video room.

A publication comprising Harb’s sketches for the past year and contributions by writers and curators will accompany the exhibition.