Hassan Hajjaj, Mr Toliver, 2012, Three-channel video
THE WEXNER CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESS RELEASE:
Moroccan-born artist Hassan Hajjaj blends photography, performance, and fashion in colorful portraits that offer insightful commentary on global capitalism. This three-channel video installation—which features musicians wearing ensembles designed by the artist and performing in front of colorful, heavily patterned textiles—invites visitors into Hajjaj’s realm, rife with startling visual and cultural juxtapositions.
Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume I, 2012 comprises nine separately filmed performances by an international array of musicians: the London-based Moroccan musician Simo Laganawi; percussionist and signer Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor of The Venus Bushfires, and Muneera Rashida and Sukina Abdul Noor of Muslim hip-hop duo Poetic Pilgrimage, among others. Each performer plays in turn, creating a dynamic theater in the round.
The performers—Hajjaj’s personal “rock stars”—are bedecked in outfits designed by the artist that mix traditional Moroccan fabrics and luxury brand clothing and shoes. This interweaving of traditional and contemporary elements creates a powerful dialogue between past and present, high fashion and vernacular style, and Moroccan craftsmanship and contemporary art. The installation brings to life the approach Hajjaj has explored in such celebrated photographic series as Kesh Angels.