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Jamelie Hassan

Ni de l’est ni de l’ouest / Neither from the east nor the west

May 30 to September 6, 2020

In Jamelie Hassan’s work, the use of Arabic calligraphy speaks to both “being strange” and “being a stranger”—similar words that describe very different ideas. Born in Canada to Lebanese parents, Hassan creates installations and concepts over time, within the continuum of the history of the world’s peoples. In her practice, she also foregrounds the context in which her works are presented.

Hassan’s work draws from the idea of “freedom of expression”, as understood by Palestinian-American theorist Edward Said (1935–2003). Throughout her career, we find the ubiquitous desire to reaffirm the deep interconnection and interdependence of the world’s cultures, cultures that resist all uniformized and static descriptions. Faced with the unrest of our times, Hassan brings together art and theory, highlighting the need for diversity in our philosophical, political and religious ideas, ideas neither from the East nor the West.

While preparing for the exhibition at EXPRESSION, as in past projects, Hassan considers the context itself, its architecture and community history, all while highlighting the diversity of influences that make us up, notably in regards to contributions from Arabic culture. The installations presented in Saint-Hyacinthe draw from various media: calligraphy, video, neon lights, drawings, paintings, photographs and a hollow tree trunk cut into several sections. The works give off an ambience of “hospitality”, itself also an important idea in Hassan’s practice.

Jamelie Hassan is grateful for the support of the Ontario Art Council (OAC).

Guided tour and vernissage: Saturday, May 30 at 2 pm.