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Soul Taming - 3D virtual exhibition by Sulger-Buel Gallery

Soul Taming

Fri, 11/27/2020 to Thu, 12/31/2020

curated by:

"When I was searching for myself amongst the seasons of the clouds...Spring was conforming between golden ears of wheat... and he knew me....and he did not talk eagerly about me… Because he is confident in my knowledge without my signature... We spoke about when the moon will arrive... I used to tell him; You must go, you have an appointment... Just remember to send me peace with the winds..." Akkij Fathi

Fathi Hassan is an artist, a poet, a dreamer; but, most of all, he is a dynamic creative set on taming his wild spirit and wandering soul through his art, meditations and poetry. Hassan’s visual work pulls the viewer firstly with its bold lines, then the floating texts, figures and symbols. Once that information and layer is absorbed, his pieces translate into a higher level of alchemical synthesis. His articulation unto the canvas is a deep form of poetry.

Essential to his work is the exploration of identity, as he constantly challenges, superimposes, writes and links events, past and present, to contemplate possible futures and potentialities. Hassan's diasporic adventure for almost four decades reflects the displacement and the journey between the different spaces, times, perspectives and memories. His creations also reveal a love and passion for classical music and Opera, wherein his lines translate into visual melodies of emotions. His attention to numbers, codes, letters and musical notes are also weaved back into his compositions reflecting a multidimensional orientation.

His tapestries can also be experienced as archival material containing delicate traces of his Nubian culture and its place in the Arab world, wherein the Arabic calligraphy intersects and blends into symbols. In some instances, the letters and the words sharply cut through the Nubian-African heritage to suggest a struggle and the fight for domination and survival. This suspended state is a powerful reminder of not only the past but also inherently of what is happening today politically, socially and culturally.

Ultimately Hassan' work is to record, store, archive and tame the memories of dreams, souls, life and desire. His quest to pin down a hybrid-cultural form of self and identity continues and is ever so resonant with what is happening now. His utilising of the desert and forest imagery is a tool to reflect upon the injustices and inequalities of the human condition and existential state of being. He also does a brilliant job in bringing forward a Sufi elemental landscape as well as responding to the more recent crisis relating to Covid-19, referring to the traumatic post-Arab Spring period, the rise of the conservative right in the West and the deconstruction of democracy.

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